HAZMAT: Cops exposed to 'unknown substance' from suspicious package at west Phoenix business

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(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

Hazardous materials crews are trying to determine the nature of an unknown substance to which two Phoenix police officers were exposed Monday morning.

This started just after 9 a.m. when employees of a shipping company on Lower Buckeye Road west of 35th Avenue called the police to report a “suspicious package” in an industrial yard.

“Witnesses reported that the package does not belong on the property and it is unknown how the package arrived at the location,” Sgt. Mercedes Fortune of the Phoenix Police Department said.

The officers were exposed to the substance -- a powder -- while investigating. Paramedics evaluated them at the scene, according to Capt. Rob McDade of the Phoenix Fire Department.

"After analyzing the powder on scene, the tests were negative for any type of harmful or illegal substances," McDade said in an email several hours later. "However, in order to get a definitive and more thorough testing of the substance, the powder sample will be sent to a local law enforcement lab for further in-depth testing."

The two affected police officers were not taken to the hospital and were "not showing any signs or symptoms of any type of medical emergency," McDade continued.

Police have not released any information about the package or its origin, but the Phoenix Fire Department said the package looked like it was attached to a parachute.

Aerial video from the Lyons Roofing News Chopper showed some red or orange fabric draped over side mirror of a truck, a tether leading to the package on the ground.

The Phoenix Police Department is investigating.

[MAP: Lower Buckeye Road and 35th Avenue]

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