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Rochester City Hall evacuated after white powder sends employee to hospital

Union Leader Correspondent

May 21. 2018 9:35PM
Hazmat team members were able to take off their outfits in Rochester around 7:30 p.m. Monday, after investigating a suspicious package that was sent to city hall. (KIMBERLEY HAAS/Union Leader Correspondent)

ROCHESTER — City Hall in Rochester was shut down Monday after a suspicious package arrived in the mail.

Deputy City Manager Blaine Cox said only one person works in the mailroom. They opened the package addressed to the IT Department.

When the skin of an IT Department employee reacted to a white powder found inside the box, they immediately bagged it up and brought it outside according to protocol.

“They said, ’Uh-oh, we’ve got a problem so that’s when that particular individual bagged it up and brought it outside and we notified the fire department,” Cox said.

The building was evacuated at 12:20 p.m., Cox said.

The Seacoast Hazmat team was brought in to investigate. A number of local fire departments were still on scene Monday evening.

People were asked to avoid the area near city hall, which is next to the police department.

The affected IT worker was brought to Frisbie Memorial Hospital.He was checked out and is fine, Cox said.

The other eight employees in the department stood by until the scene cleared around 7:30 p.m. Cox said they went to the hospital as precaution.

Cox said they hope to reopen city hall Tuesday morning. An environmental company was called to check out the safety of the building.

He said the package will be sent to the state lab in Concord for testing.

Cox said he doesn’t remember anything like this happening in the Lilac City in recent history.

Public Safety General News Rochester

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