FBI investigating suspicious package found Thursday at Mills building in Downtown El Paso

Hazmat situation

EL PASO, Texas - July 12, 2013 update:
The FBI released this statement- The FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force, along with El Paso Police Department Homeland Security, Department of State Uniform Service, El Paso Fire Department Hazmat, and US Postal Inspectors is conducting an investigation of the incident that occurred at the Mills building located at 303 N. Oregon, El Paso, Texas.  At approximately 2:00pm yesterday afternoon there was an envelope containing an unidentified white substance at the Mills building in downtown El Paso.  The FBI, along with the hazardous materials team from the El Paso Fire Department, transferred the envelope to the El Paso Department of Public Health for analysis.  Initial laboratory analysis of the envelope was negative for chemical and biological agents.   The individual that discovered and opened the envelope was transported to the hospital as a precaution, however was later released.  There were several other individuals in the vicinity, yet none of them showed any symptoms and didn't require medical treatment.  The FBI, along with other law enforcement agencies, continues this investigation.  

Anyone with information regarding the incident is encouraged to contact the FBI's Joint Task Force at 832-5000.

July 11, 2013 story: A suspicious package led to the evacuation of the Mills Building in downtown El Paso Thursday afternoon.

According to El Paso Fire Dept. Spokesman George De La Torre,a  package containing a suspicious powder was found in the building's mail room on the seventh floor. Homeland Security, El Paso Police and fire department were on the scene and De La Torre said the powder would be forwarded to the FBI.

Congressman Beto O'Rourke has an office in the Mills Building. He tweeted "Hope everyone in Mills Building is safe. Our staff was evacuated, but is OK. Awaiting more details as authorities conduct investigation."

De La Torre said the man who opened the package was taken out on a stretcher and sent to Las Palmas Medical Center for decontamination. De La Torre said the man did not show any signs of being affected by the powder. 

O'Rourke later tweeted, "Per our staff, the package was not discovered at our office."

The State Department has a passport agency on the seventh floor of the Mills building, among other tenants.

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