Mitretek headquarters evacuated

Editor's note: This story was updated at 4:30 p.m. Jan. 26, 2007. Please go to Corrections & Clarifications to see what has changed.

Fairfax County, Va., police and fire units responded en masse to investigate a suspicious package delivered to the Falls Church, Va., headquarters of Mitretek Systems, a public-interest scientific research and engineering company.

At about 11:30 a.m., a company employee reported receiving an unexpected package that was delivered to Mitretek. The police response included the Special Response Mobile Command and the Explosive Ordinance Division. Five fire trucks and an ambulance were also on the scene.

All building tenants and guests were evacuated as a precaution, said Greg Licamele, Fairfax County public affairs officer.

Following the evacuation, a bomb detection robot removed the package from the building. A safe area was established and the package was imploded, said officer Richard Henry of the Fairfax Police Department. After the implosion, the building was declared safe and reopened.

The box contained only papers, Henry said. There were no weapons of mass destruction, "nothing bio-chemical, nothing harmful,” he said. The police are withholding further information until they determine whether the mailing of the package constitutes a crime, he said.

Unspecified federal agencies did arrive at the scene, possibly from the FBI or the Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms agency, Henry said.

He would not confirm rumors that the package was the latest in a series of suspicious deliveries to Mitretek.

Mitretek is a non-profit organization that performs scientific and engineering research for the federal government. The company advises federal, state, and local governments on their acquisitions of technology products in the areas of public safety, homeland security, health care and the environment.

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