Suspicious mail prompts Hazmat response at Capital City’s Memorial Hall

Published: Nov. 14, 2023 at 1:37 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Suspicious mail prompted a Hazmat Team response at Topeka’s Memorial Hall forcing an evacuation of the building that houses several state offices.

Around 11:50 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 14, the Kansas Highway Patrol alerted that Memorial Hall at 10th and Jackson Ave. had been evacuated. The building houses the Attorney General’s Office as well as the Secretary of State’s Office.

The Kansas Bureau of Investigation told 13 NEWS that it responded along with KHP, the Kansas State Fire Marshal and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

KBI noted that the mail had been addressed to the Secretary of State’s Office.

Around 12:20 p.m., 13 NEWS Crews on the scene observed Topeka Fire Department Hazmat Crews enter the building. A large group of employees could also be seen gathered across the street.

Jackson Ave. had also been closed to through traffic as first responders continued to investigate and clear the scene.

“Today, suspicious mail was received at the Secretary of State’s Office,” Kansas Governor Laura Kelly said. “Law enforcement acted swiftly, clearing the building and ensuring nobody was harmed. While there is still much we don’t know, it seems to be yet another threat aimed at our state’s public servants.”

The Governor said that no resident should ever feel unsafe due to their political beliefs.

“This political intimidation is absolutely unacceptable,” she continued. “No Kansan should ever feel unsafe because of their politics. Thank you to the KBI, KHP and other law enforcement who are investigating this case and the letters sent this past summer.”

In June, more than 100 state legislators and public officials received letters in the mail that contained white powder. No further information has been released about this incident since.