IRWINDALE (CBSLA) – Suspicious envelopes containing a white power forced the evacuation of a building belonging to Southern California Edison in Irwindale Thursday morning and prompted a hazmat callout. However, the substance was later deemed harmless.
The suspicious envelopes were reported before 8:40 a.m. at a SoCal Edison mail processing center in the 6000 block of Irwindale Avenue, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department.
Employees, who had just completed training regarding suspicious materials, were sifting through incoming mail when they came upon the envelopes, Irwindale police said.
All employees in the building were evacuated and hazardous materials teams from both the L.A. County Fire and L.A. County Sheriff’s departments were brought in to investigate.
Hazmat teams tested the substance and determined it to be “benign” with “no public health risk,” LACFD reported. Investigators also determined the envelopes were not criminal in nature.
The employees were all wearing protective masks and gloves when they handled the envelopes. Firefighters examined the employees and did not believe they were exposed to anything harmful.
“They were asymptomatic, they were not injured…so we’re still evaluating to see if it is even a threat, what the substance is, if it’s something dangerous,” Irwindale police Sgt. Rudy Gatto said.
It is still unclear exactly what the substance was.