Heerlen tax office evacuated over package with unidentified powder

Belastingdienst Amsterdam
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A Tax Authority building on Kloosterweg in Heerlen was evacuated on Friday morning after the discovery of a package containing a powder substance, the Limburg police said on Twitter.

The police are currently investigating what substance the package contained. The building was evacuated as a precaution.

A dispatcher sent firefighter equipment, and requested police assistance at the scene just before 9:30 a.m. The situation was escalated to a GRIP 1 at 10:10 a.m. That means that a commanding officer from one of the emergency services takes command of the entire scene. 

The police confirmed the discovery of the powder substance on Twitter less than 20 minutes later. By that time, the building was already evacuated.

The suspicious package was sent directly to the tax authorities, reported 1Limburg. The office building that was evacuated is used by the tax agency and other organizations.

A GRIP 1 is the lowest of six alarm levels, each which dictates a set of procedures for first responders and government officials to coordinated their response to an emergency incident. When a Grip 1 alarm is ordered it calls for responding emergency services personnel to unite under a single commanding officer who establishes a chain of command. Communication is also started with any relevant mayors, top policymakers, regional fire department and police leadership, and the public health director.

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