This time, it wasn’t orange powder, like Tang, or a brown crumbly substance, like brown sugar, that prompted police to evacuate government offices downtown.
This time it was a simple unopened package.
Around noon on Thursday, four workers at the Health and Social Services building on Black Street in Whitehorse touched a suspicious package that had been mailed to the building, said Cpl. Leanne Lind of the Whitehorse RCMP.
Police were immediately called.
“The staff deemed it to be suspicious just because it was out of the ordinary for the type of packaging they would normally receive,” said Lind.
“As a precautionary measure, the entire building was evacuated and the entire ventilation system was shut down until we could determine that the package had been quarantined.”
The four who touched the suspicious package were interviewed, released and did not require decontamination measures, said Lind.
“The envelope was un-opened and did not pose a threat to the employees. They didn’t exhibit any signs of ill health.”
The building was re-opened later on in the afternoon on Thursday, and the package remains in Whitehorse, Lind said.
It will soon be sent to the RCMP’s chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear contamination team in Vancouver for analysis of its contents.
There are no suspects in the case, and, at this time, it is unknown where the package was addressed from, said Lind.
Thursday’s ordeal is unfortunately becoming rather common for government employees and RCMP in Whitehorse.
In August “trace amounts” of an orange, glue-like substance were mailed to a government building in the city.
The building was evacuated and its ventilation system was shut off, and two employees that touched the package were quarantined and decontaminated with showers.
Later that day, a Mountie team flew by RCMP jet to Whitehorse to inspect the powder.
Following tests, the powder was deemed to be organic and harmless.
The letter was sent from a Yukon address, police said at the time.
In June, a government building in Whitehorse received a letter from a US address containing a brown “crumb-like” substance.
It was also determined to be harmless.
Measures similar to those employed for the other two incidents were undertaken.
Police can’t say if any of the three mailing incidents are linked.
There are no suspects, said Lind.
All of the incidents are still under investigation.