Westgate Post Office evacuated due to "suspicious odor"

Sep 2, 2017

Credit Caitlin Whyte / WXXI News

The Westgate Post Office on Howard Road was evacuated Saturday morning after employees noticed a suspicious odor.

Gates Assistant Fire Chief Alan Bubel said they responded to a call of someone not feeling well at the post office at 8:53am. The United States Postal Inspection was called in to investigate as well as a hazmat team.

The source of the odor has been determined as nail polish remover leaking from a package according to Spokesperson for the Postal Service of Western New York Karen Mazurkiewicz.

Some employees were evaluated on site after complaints of feeling ill, while six employees were sent to the hospital for further evaluations. Bubel said symptoms included coughing, headaches, nausea and trouble breathing.

He said they take every hazardous materials incidents seriously.

"We use an abundance of caution, we go pretty slow to make sure we've done everything right."

The Westgate Post Office has reponed, and will continue operating its regular Saturday hours until 2pm. Mazurkiewicz says postal workers will do their best to make up the lost time on their delivery routes.