THE bomb squad was called and a full-scale emergency declared after four suspicious packages were discovered in a postal handling centre.
Dozens of staff had to be evacuated late on Monday night from the New England Mail Sorting Centre in Taminda with police, Fire and Rescue NSW and ambulance crews trawling the site.
The alarm was raised by staff about 8.30pm when the suspicious packages surfaced during routine sorting.
An exclusion zone was set up but mystery still surrounds what was in the parcels.
The Leader has been told one of the packages contained a threatening letter and an item of clothing addressed to police.
A police spokesman confirmed the packages had been seized for forensic testing in a bid to trace their origin.
Fire and Rescue NSW Inspector Grant O’Regan said crews were called but the incident was under police control.
“We were put on standby while investigations were undertaken by police,” he said.
“It was found not be an explosive substance, so it was classified as a hazardous material. The substance is still unknown at this stage.”
Police were remaining tightlipped on details surrounding the suspicious packages yesterday, referring all media to a prepared statement.
Australia Post released a statement yesterday confirming staff detected a suspicious mail item.
“Australia Post takes the safety of all of our staff extremely seriously,” it read.
“Relevant authorities evacuated our facility while tests were conducted. Staff were able to return to work once the authorities declared the area safe a short time later.”
Police investigations are continuing.