Concerns over the contents of a letter sent to the NSW Department of Community Services in Ballina yesterday forced the closure of the office while the envelope was checked for suspicious substances.
Hazmat officers and bomb technicians checked the building after a substance was found ‘oozing’ out of an envelope sent to the office, according to APN Media reports.
The eighty-odd staff had an extra lunch hour as the building was evacuated around 11am yesterday but the experts found nothing hazardous about the substance in the envelope.
In December 2011, a similar scare closed the Byron Bay Post Office after a white substance was found on the floor. It too was found to be harmless.
In 2001, in the wake of the World Trade Centre attacks, a US journalist died after opening a letter mailed to him that contained the substance anthrax.
Since then there have been thousands of copycat incidents, such as this one.