Foto

Suspect packages alert at foreign missions

Suspicious packages have sparked a major emergency response and evacuation of some foreign consulates across Melbourne, with embassies in Canberra also hit.

Diplomatic offices in Melbourne for countries including Germany, Italy, India, Spain and Korea were among those attended by police, fire crews and ambulance officers on Wednesday afternoon.

"Police and emergency services have responded to suspicious packages delivered to embassies and consulates in Canberra and Melbourne," an Australian Federal Police statement said.

"The packages are being examined by attending emergency services.

"The circumstances surrounding these incidents are being investigated."

It is not known which embassies in Canberra have been affected.

Two fire trucks, a hazardous materials vehicle and police cars attended the Consulate-General of India on St Kilda Road where staff were evacuated, telling reporters they had been told not to comment to reporters.

They were allowed to re-enter the building, which was deemed "safe" by Vic Emergency by 3pm.

The agency's website listed more than 10 "hazardous material" events occurring across Melbourne, which began unfolding from about 1pm.

Addresses for the events included Market Street, Bourke Street, Middleton Lane, William Street, and St Kilda Road in Melbourne, Elgin Street at Carlton, and Yertchuk Avenue at Ashwood. Each location matches the address of a consulate.

Emergency workers wearing chemical suits were seen entering some of the buildings.

The alerts come after Sydney's Argentinian consulate was partially evacuated on Monday after reports of a suspicious substance.

The powder, contained in clear plastic bags within an envelope, was subsequently deemed not dangerous.