OTTAWA – Ottawa police say they used a robot to render a suspicious package inside the Prime Minister’s office “safe” and there is no indication it contained a bomb.
“The robot was used to investigate the package and what they did on scene, I don’t have those details, but they have different tools on the robot to render a package safe,” said Ottawa Police Const. Chuck Benoit.
When asked if it was a bomb, Benoit said, “No. There was no mention of that.”
The RCMP is leading the investigation.
After being evacuated for about three hours, employees were allowed back in around 3 p.m.
Wellington St. in downtown Ottawa, the main thoroughfare across from Parliament Hill, was reopened as well, but Metcalfe St. between Wellington and Queen Streets remained closed due to emergency vehicles.
A man was arrested Wednesday morning following an incident involving a suspicious package at Langevin Block, the building that houses the Prime Minister’s Office in Ottawa.
Police say the incident happened around 11:20 a.m. ET Wednesday, when a man entered the office on Wellington St. in and left behind a suitcase-sized package.
The man was still in custody Wednesday afternoon.
“Right now we have a suspicious incident that started this morning, a person of interest was arrested where he had left a package behind,” said Benoit.
Leah Mammoletti, a security guard, said she was at the front desk when a man entered, threw a suitcase and started praying in a foreign language.
Police dispatched a hazmat squad of both RCMP and Ottawa police, known as the Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear and Explosives (CBRNE) team, to investigate the package.
Businesses were also evacuated.
Fire trucks lined downtown Elgin St. shortly after noon, and officials also said they were doing a bomb sweep.
It’s a busy day in Ottawa as the Conservative government prepares for its throne speech to be delivered by Governor General David Johnston in the Senate at 5 p.m.
With files from Amy Minsky and Laura Stone
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