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France ends toxic alert at Canadian Embassy

France ends toxic alert at Canadian Embassy
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First Published: Mon, Feb 19 2007. 07 03 PM IST
Updated: Mon, Feb 19 2007. 07 03 PM IST
By Agencies
French police were investigating a suspicious package that prompted the evacuation of the Canadian Embassy in Paris and a ban on traffic in the area.
The building, a block from the Plaza Athenee hotel, and Avenue Montaigne opened again at about noon local time after being shut at about 9:15 a.m., Philippe Boutinaug, a colonel in the Paris Fire Department, told reporters.
The alert was triggered after an embassy employee suffered a nosebleed upon opening an envelope containing a wet cloth, Boutinaug said. Authorities were trying to determine the package’s contents, and the employee was being examined, he said.
“We don’t know if it was toxic or just a very bad joke,” Canadian Ambassador Claude Laverdure told reporters. “It’s being investigated.”
Police received the initial call at 9:06 a.m., Boutinaug said. He declined to say whether the package was mailed or hand- delivered.
The incident triggered an alert for possible nuclear, radiological, bacteriological and chemical contamination, Agence France-Presse reported. During such an alert, firefighters wear decontamination suits and masks are made available to victims. said.
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First Published: Mon, Feb 19 2007. 07 03 PM IST