White powder found at US consulate in Hong Kong

White powder found at US consulate in Hong Kong

Four police vans and a bomb disposal truck were deployed at the sealed-off main entrance of the US Consulate General in Hong Kong. (Photo: AFP/Vivek Prakash)

HONG KONG: Police in hazmat suits entered the US Consulate General in Hong Kong on Monday (Nov 13) 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."

Police called the incident a "misunderstanding" in a statement Monday.

No dangerous ingredients were found in the powder after an initial investigation and the substance has been collected for further examination, the statement said.

Source: AFP/zl

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