Mercury spilled at USPS building in Norfolk; Mail delivery not suspended

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NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Mercury was spilled at a U.S. Postal Service building Saturday in downtown Norfolk, officials say.

Jeff Caldwell, a spokesman with the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, said a metal container that was supposed to be moved by hand was carried by a forklift instead. As a result, the container leaked.

This happened at the USPS building on Church Street.

Employees said after the spill they were told to give up their shoes, and hand over the clothes they had worn the night before. A bus took employees to Richmond to work following the spill.

Rep. Scott Taylor (R-Va.) said in a tweet Monday he was “glad to hear the employees are safe and accounted for.” The congressman added his office was informed that the post office would not be suspending mail delivery.

A retail mobile van for PO Box customers was setup by the post office, according to Taylor’s tweet.

10 On Your Side went to the Church Street post office Monday morning and found it to be closed, with tape and cones blocking the front door.

10 On Your Side reached out to officials to see how the incident is impacting postal services. The USPS sent this statement on Monday in response: 

“The Postal Service’s first priority is to ensure the safety and well-being of all employees. Out of an abundance of caution, the Postal Service closed the Norfolk P&DC Saturday due to a mercury spill that was limited to a small area of the facility. Professional environmental contractors have been on site to determine the extent of the spill and conduct cleanup operations and verify that no health risk exists after the cleanup.   We anticipate the facility will reopen today.
Incoming mail destined for Norfolk was processed at other facilities this weekend. We expect some possible mail deliveries delays today and the return to normal operations beginning tomorrow. We appreciated customers’ patience and understanding and are grateful no harm has come to any employees during this incident.”

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