White powder found at US consulate in Hong Kong sparks security alert

13 November 2017 - 08:54 By AFP
Police vehicles are seen outside the US consulate in Hong Kong after a suspicious envelope sparked a security alert on the premises on November 13, 2017.
Police vehicles are seen outside the US consulate in Hong Kong after a suspicious envelope sparked a security alert on the premises on November 13, 2017.
Image: VIVEK PRAKASH / AFP

Police in hazmat suits entered the US Consulate General in Hong Kong Monday after an envelope containing white powder sparked a security alert at the complex.

Visa appointments were cancelled and members of the public queing to enter were ordered to leave as the consulate scrambled to react to the incident.

Uniformed police officers were also seen donning gas masks outside the building in the busy Central district of the southern Chinese financial hub.

Four police vans and a bomb disposal truck were seen deployed at the sealed-off main entrance.

However, the consulate later said the powder was not found to be hazardous.

"We can confirm that an envelope containing white powder was opened inside the Consulate General today," a spokesperson for the US consulate said.

"The incident has now been resolved. Visa appointments for the rest of the day remain cancelled," the spokesperson added.

"As always, our highest priority is the safety of our personnel and visitors."

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