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Downtown tower evacuated when workers fall ill after suspicious package arrives

Downtown tower evacuated after suspicious package arrives

The eighth floor of the Mickey Leland Federal Building in downtown Houston was evacuated Monday afternoon after six workers in the mailroom complained of headaches after examining a suspicious package.

The Houston Fire Department Hazardous Materials Team was dispatched to the tower at 1919 Smith Street around 3 p.m., according to a Houston Fire Department spokesman.

The unit determined the substance is a non-hazardous material but it can cause irritation to the skin that can be alleviated by washing the hands and face.

The workers were evaluated and released.

The building, located on the southwestern edge of downtown Houston, is currently undergoing an extensive remodeling, with a complete recladding of the exterior skin and the installation of new mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems.

It houses the Houston Passport Agency and the offices of U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, among other federal agencies.

Mickey Leland Federal Building, 2006 photo
Mickey Leland Federal Building, 2006 photo WikiMedia Commons/WhisperToMe