No harmful substances found in 'suspicious package' sent to The Straits Times newsroom

No harmful substances found in 'suspicious package' sent to The Straits Times newsroom

Singapore Civil Defence Force personnel
The Singapore Civil Defence Force personnel seen outside the Singapore Press Holdings building on Friday (Nov 2).

SINGAPORE: The "suspicious package" that was delivered to The Straits Times (ST) newsroom contained no harmful substances, the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said on Friday evening (Nov 2).

SCDF said it was alerted to a suspicious envelope which ST had said was sent to its newsroom from abroad.

The letter was addressed to "The Straights Times" and contained several pages of content that was incoherent, ST reported.

"Upon arrival, SCDF officers cordoned off the area and secured the envelope within a sealed container," it said in a statement posted on Facebook at about 7.30pm.

"Several tests were conducted on the envelope by SCDF's Hazmat specialists and no harmful substances were detected."

HazMat vehicle seen exiting the Singapore Press Holdings compound
A HazMat vehicle seen exiting the Singapore Press Holdings compound on Friday (Nov 2). 

It added that the office where the envelope was opened and nearby areas were decontaminated as a precautionary measure.

The police, who were alerted at 4.20pm, have classified the case as intentionally causing alarm and are looking into the matter.

Earlier, ST had reported that three staff members felt dizzy after coming into contact with the letter.

"(They) described it as having a pungent, burning smell that left them feeling dizzy. Two also felt teary", according to ST.​​​​​​​

They were assessed by an SCDF paramedic and were found to be well. As a precaution, they were instructed by SCDF to shower and change their clothing.

The suspicious article has been handed over to the police, SCDF said.

"A suspicious package was delivered to the ST newsroom. It was reported to the police and the SCDF is investigating," ST editor Warren Fernandez was earlier quoted as saying in ST.

Source: CNA/na/hm

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