HOMES were evacuated when a postal worker fell ill at a Royal Mail sorting office in Sheffield – after inhaling fumes from a parcel which had burst.
The safety scare was treated as a major incident by the county’s police, fire and ambulance services until tests on the suspect package established that it contained a glue-type substance used to apply acrylic false nails.
Five fire appliances, an ambulance major incident unit, two paramedic cars and numerous police vehicles were sent to the sorting office on Barnsley Road, Lane Top.
The alert came after the postal worker apparently ‘doubled over’ after being overcome by fumes at 7.30am yesterday.
His colleagues were all evacuated while the scene was cordoned off and emergency workers launched their pre-arranged action plan for dealing with incidents involving ‘hazardous materials’.
It took around four hours before firefighters wearing specialist equipment were sent into the sorting office to examine the package and look for where it had come from and where it was destined.
Concerned local residents gathered as the drama unfolded.
They could see a white tent erected outside the sorting office and firefighters entering wearing masks and carrying cylinders on their backs.
Christopher Leary, aged 23, of Homestead Road, said: “We were woken at 8am by the fire service telling us we had to evacuate. I have three children so it was worrying.”
Danny Webster, whose mum runs Soowe’s Coffee Pot Cafe next to the sorting office said: “We were told we could not open the business. They were open with us and told us that someone had doubled over when he was handling a parcel.”