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HomeNewsArchives'Foul-Smelling' Package Causes Evacuation of Labor Offices on St. Thomas

'Foul-Smelling' Package Causes Evacuation of Labor Offices on St. Thomas

June 14, 2006 – Department of Labor offices on St. Thomas were evacuated Wednesday after a Labor employee received an envelope containing a "foul-smelling" unidentified substance.
According to Shawna Richards, public relations manager for the Police Department, preliminary police reports indicate that the incident may have occurred sometime before noon, after the employee received an "envelope or package addressed from one of the local jails."
"However, I can't really confirm anything yet," Richards said when contacted Wednesday evening.
According to a press release sent from Government House Wednesday evening, the envelope was "one of several" mailed to Labor offices territorywide, including the office of Labor Commissioner Cecil R. Benjamin in Christiansted, St. Croix; and Occupational Safety and Health Administration offices at Estate Golden Rock, St. Croix.
The release said only the envelope on St. Thomas was opened.
Richards said that the substance inside the envelope "gave off some type of bad odor," which she said caused other Labor employees to complain of symptoms such as "coughing and watery eyes."
She said police investigated the scene, along with Fire Services and the Hazardous Materials team.
Richards said that the building, the area in front of the building and the adjacent roadway were closed to the public while the incident was being investigated. "Around 4 p.m. a number of employees were sent to the hospital for treatment," she said. "After 4 p.m. the roadway was re-opened."
She said that the substance has not yet been identified, that an investigation is ongoing and that more information on the incident would be released by police Thursday.
The release from Government House said that Labor offices on St. Thomas would be closed on Thursday while the investigation continues and would re-open on Friday.
In the release, Health Commissioner Darlene Carty said that as a precautionary measure, residents who visited Labor around the time of the incident are "urged" to visit the Schneider Regional Medical Center.
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