[UPDATED with Substance is Sand:] Suspicious Package to Huntington Beach Fire Department Closes City Hall

See Update Nos. 1 and 2 at the end of this post about the weird substance found in a mysterious envelope turning out to be sand.

ORIGINAL POST, APRIL 22, 10:15 A.M.: Huntington Beach City Hall is currently closed to the public due to a suspicious package delivered via the mail today to the Fire Department on the fifth floor, according to police.

"All the staff from City Hall have been evacuated and Haz-Mat units along with Orange County Sheriff's Bomb Squad are responding to evaluate the package," reads a Huntington Beach Police Facebook post.

"City Hall is currently CLOSED to the public until the package can be deemed safe," the post concludes.

Check back for updates.

UPDATE NO. 1, APRIL 22, 12:41 P.M.: A Huntington Beach fire official says a mysterious envelope left in a City Hall stairwell was filled with what appeared to be firecrackers and an unknown substance, which the sheriff's bomb squad has taken for analysis.

Huntington Beach High School, which is near City Hall, was originally placed on lockdown this morning but that has since been lifted and normal operations have resumed, police say.

City workers were encouraged today to take early lunches and not return until an all-clear is announced.

UPDATE NO. 2, APRIL 22, 2:35 P.M.: Officials have determined it was a harmless, sand-like substance left in the mysterious manila envelope that also contained firecrackers deemed "an explosive device."

The sand and 'crackers forced the evacuation of a total of 300 people for hours. Who wanted to work on such a beautiful day anyway?

Email: mcoker@ocweekly.com. Twitter: @MatthewTCoker. Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!


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