Mystery packages at Indian, 11 other consulates in Australia trigger evacuation

Mystery packages at Indian, 11 other consulates in Australia trigger evacuation

Australian police were investigating the delivery of suspicious packages sent to foreign embassies and consulates in Melbourne and Canberra, including the Turkish consulate, police and diplomatic sources said on January 9.

Police in Australia were on Wednesday investigating several suspicious packages sent to the Indian consulate and several other missions in Melbourne.

Authorities did not confirm the specific locations or intended targets of any of the packages, but the Australian federal police confirmed it was investigating and would examine the packages.

The AFP added suspicious packages were also sent to embassies and consulates in the Australian capital Canberra.

State police in Melbourne said the incidents there were believed to be "targeted and not impacting the general community".

Hazmat and fire crews are seen outside the Indian and French Consulates on St Kilda Road in Melbourne, Australia, January 9, 2019.

Melbourne emergency services have responded to a number of call-outs for "hazardous material" in the last hour according to the state's emergency response website, which shows a total of 17 hazardous material incidents now in progress.

"All our staff are safe and accounted for", said a British High Commission spokesperson.

It is understood at least seven Melbourne buildings have been evacuated.

The official said she was told by the authorities to wash her hands.

According to local reports, most of the packages were on St Kilda Road at the New Zealand, U.S., UK, Indian, Korean, German, and Swiss consulates according to The Melbourne Age. "The circumstances are being investigated".

Metropolitan Fire Brigade is assisting the national police.

Some of the packages were reported to contain what appeared to be concrete, and were labelled asbestos. It was not clear which embassies in Canberra were affected.

US Consulate General Melbourne; 7.

Manuela Erb, the honorary consul of the Consulate of Switzerland in Melbourne, told the ABC that they had received a suspicious package at their Ashwood address.

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