Suspicious package sent to Pak consulate in Melbourne

The'hazardous material warnings as mapped on the Victoria Emergency website. Image Victoria Emergency

The'hazardous material warnings as mapped on the Victoria Emergency website. Image Victoria Emergency

News agency Reuters quoted Australian police as saying, "The packages are being examined by attending emergency services".

The NZ consulate was one of at least seven global consulates evacuated after multiple suspicious packages were found, in what officials labelled a "hazardous material" event. "The circumstances surrounding the incidents are being investigated".

Police in Australia said on Wednesday (Jan 9) that they are investigating several suspicious packages sent to embassies and consulates, which media reports and other officials said included the United States and British missions, in the cities of Melbourne and Canberra, but there were no reports of harm to staff.

It is unclear what embassies in Canberra were affected.

Emergency services in Australia are responding to multiple reports of suspicious packages delivered to a number of embassies and consulates in Canberra and Melbourne.

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

"We are aware of reports of suspicious packages being received and are cooperating with the AFP", a British consulate spokesman said.

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The Indian consulate and U.S. embassy, both located on St Kilda Road in Melbourne, are believed to be have been affected, as well as the Swiss, British, German, Spanish, Korean and New Zealand consulates and embassies.

Footage showed emergency services workers attended the US, Greek, French, Italian, Hong Kong, Indian, New Zealand, Pakistan and Swiss consulates.

"Staff were evacuated from the Consulate as a precautionary measure", a spokesperson said.

"We are liaising closely with the (Australian Federal Police) and the local authorities regarding the situation".

A New Zealand official told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation the consulate received an envelope with small plastic bags that appeared to contain concrete and asbestos, with "asbestos" written on one of the bags.

"We are assisting at a number of embassies across Melbourne", she said.

A firefighter is seen carrying a hazardous material bag into the South Korean consulate in Melbourne.

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