Suspicious package at Ybor post office leaks eucalyptus - WFLA News Channel 8

Suspicious package at Ybor post office leaks eucalyptus

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Tampa Fire rescue crews evacuated  the Ybor City post office on 12th Avenue Monday morning due to a suspicious package that leaked fluid. The fluid turned out to be eucalyptus oil.

Tampa firefighters said they received a call about the package around 10 o'clock Monday morning. When they arrived they found a box that had broken open and some liquid was leaking out of it.

"The person who actually came in contact with it, initially, he was complaining of some mild skin irritations," said Tampa Fire Rescue Capt. Lonnie Benniefield.

An employee had taken the box outside before firefighters got to the post office.

Firefighters and Tampa Police evacuated the office employees and customers.

Michael Walborn spent hours outside the post office in the rain, waiting for it to reopen so he could pick up a check. He noticed the strong smell from the eucalyptus oil when he arrived.

"It smelled like a real strong Vick's Vapor Rub," he said. "It smelled like a real strong, concentrated menthol smell."

Emergency responders didn't take any chances. The Hazmat team set up a decontamination trailer across the street. In all, 20 people from the post office were rinsed off and dressed in tyvek suits.

Tampa Fire Rescue Hazmat Team and US Postal Inspectors determined the liquid was concentrated eucalyptus oil. TFR officials told us, the hazards of exposure to this liquid could be skin irritation, rash or asthma-like symptoms.

"Sometimes we have a customer that's basically careless," said postal inspector Alexandra Papageorge. "They end up mailing something and don't say anything, or know they shouldn't mail it. We had to evacuate a facility based on someone else's error."

After this determination was made, firefighters didn't transport anybody to the hospital. Paramedics treated one employee at the scene for an asthma attack. Another worker helped with the clean-up and got bleach in his eye, firefighters told us. He refused to go to a hospital. 

The post office on 12th Avenue is open.


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