Canadian Embassy in Washington evacuated after false alarm 0
The Canadian Embassy in Washington, D.C., was evacuated after a suspicious package was discovered in the mailroom Friday. It was later found to be a false alarm.
Chris Plunkett, a spokesman for the Embassy, said the United States Secret Service was called to investigate after an envelope, which reports said contained an unknown white substance, was discovered.
"At that point, the Secret Service asked us to evacuate the embassy as a precaution, and so we have evacuated as a precaution and are waiting for further instructions," Plunkett told QMI Agency Friday morning.
The 325 employees left the building at 9:30 a.m. ET, and the iconic Pennsylvania Ave. in D.C. was closed.
Plunkett said the Secret Service gave the all clear about an hour later, and embassy staff re-entered the building at about 10:30 a.m.
"Secret Service has determined that the package is not dangerous, has removed it from the premises, and all embassy staff have now re-entered the building," Plunkett said in an e-mail to reporters.
Firetrucks, police cars, and Secret Service vehicles surrounded the building Friday morning.
Plunkett said this is not the first time a suspicious package has been found at the Canadian Embassy, but normally they are false alarms.
"We have had this happen before," he said. "In the past year we had one."
"This regrettably is a reality, unfortunately, of the life of our diplomats and we'll obviously first and foremost deal with this and review the whole matter as you would expect," Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said Friday morning.
The embassy is 2.4 km from the White House.