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Tuesday, 16 October, 2001, 16:15 GMT 17:15 UK
Powder found at post depot
Police car outside postal depot
All the postal staff were moved into the car park
Five people have been taken to hospital after white powder was discovered at Liverpool's main mail sorting office.

The building was evacuated at 0700 BST when the substance was spotted leaking from an item of mail thought to be a small package.

The suspect substance is being analysed in a laboratory.

Results were expected later on Tuesday.
Merseyside chemical incident unit
A chemical incident unit was set up

The Copperas Hill sorting office is located in Liverpool city centre, not far from Lime Street railway station.

Five people were taken to a decontamination van outside the building, when it was announced postal deliveries in the centre had been stopped.

They were later transferred to Fazakerley Hospital.

A Merseyside Police press officer said: "We still do not know the contents of the package but can confirm it does not contain any explosives."

Postal workers seemed concerned but calm following the security alert.

"I think it's inevitable really, with what you're hearing in the media," said one man.

Another man said: "I think everyone's quite concerned. We've just got to stick it out.

"In a few hours we'll hopefully be able to resume work."

Police, fire and ambulance crews attended the incident.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Andrew Somerskill
gives details of the security alert

Click here to go to BBC Liverpool Online
See also:

16 Oct 01 | Americas
Police extend Senate anthrax tests
16 Oct 01 | Americas
Tracking the anthrax spore
16 Oct 01 | World
Anthrax attack: What to do
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