The US Consulate-General temporarily suspended the processing of visa applications on Monday, owing to discovery of a suspicious envelope.
The police said the consulate’s staff members reported the case after receiving an envelope containing “white powder.” However, by noon, tests had shown that the substance was not hazardous.
Police officers entered the consulate in full hazardous materials suit, as uniformed officers also put on gas masks.
A police bomb disposal unit van was parked outside the consulate in preparation.
“We can confirm that an envelope containing white powder was opened inside the Consulate General today,” consulate spokesperson Kristin Haworth told HKFP. “The safety of our personnel and visitors is a top priority, and we apologize for any inconvenience to our visa applicants and visitors.”
Update: Incident has been resolved. Visa services will resume regular hours tomorrow. American Citizen Services will be open for regular hours this afternoon.
— US Con HK & Macau (@USAinHKMacau) November 13, 2017
She later added that the consulate expects to be open on Tuesday, and the American Citizen Services section will be open on Monday afternoon.
Firefighters and ambulances were also present outside the building in Admiralty.
Members of the public who were inside the consulate waiting for their visas to be handled were evacuated.