Federal authorities investigate suspicious package at Mills Building

Federal authorities investigate suspicious package at Mills Building
Thursday, July 11, 2013 - 11:24pm

A HAZMAT scare in Downtown El Paso on Thursday prompted authorities to conduct an inspection of one of El Paso's tallest buildings.

Law enforcement officials were called out to investigate a suspicious package containing a white powder, that was opened in the mailroom on the 7th floor of the Anson Mills building.

The building was evacuated around 2:30pm on Thursday. It is home to a number of different government offices, including that of Congressman Beto O'Rourke.

After the evacuation, O'Rourke tweeted "Hope everyone in Mills building is safe. Our staff was evacuated, but is ok. Awaiting more details as authorities conduct investigation."

El Paso police, the fire department,  HAZMAT crews, Homeland Security, and FBI closed off the intersection of Oregon and Main, and Oregon and Mills for almost four hours.

There is no word on who the substance was being sent to.

One person was taken out of the building by paramedics on a stretcher, but officials later said that was just done as a precautionary measure.  

Thursday's scare is just one of several mail scares reported over the past week.

On Monday, a letter mailed to New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez's office was filled with a white powder.

Federal investigators intervened, and her office was evacuated immediately. But an investigation revealed the powder was not dangerous, and possibly baking soda.

New Mexican officials were prompted to close a UPS field office in Santa Fe on Wednesday, after a suspicious letter, missing a return address, being sent from the UPS center to the Rio Arriba courthouse was inspected - but again, it was a false alarm.

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