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Police Investigate Discovery Of Hazardous Materials

15:45 Update: Please be advised of the latest update regarding this investigation;

The criminal investigation into this matter is continuing.

No charges have been laid at this time, however, the male suspect is currently undergoing a psychological evaluation.

At this stage of the investigation there are no links to any organized crime or terrorist groups.

11:45 Update: At 0900 hrs this date, the tenants of the 200 blk. Royal AVE. apartment that were evacuated last night have been returned to their residence.

The investigation is continuing, no further details are available at this time.

At 2000 hrs the New Westminster police attended a call to assist the public at an apartment building in the 200 blk. of Royal AVE. At scene, the officers observed several jars full of unknown chemical substances. As a result of this discovery, the Hazardous Materials team, New Westminster Fire Services and the RCMP Explosives Demolition Unit (EDU) were contacted and attended the scene.

Concurrent to this action, police officers blocked off the adjacent streets and our Victims Assistance Unit (VAU) attended and aided in the evacuation of the tenants of the multi-story apartment building. With the assistance of the building management, a roll call was taken and all tenants were accounted for during the building evacuation. Coast Mountain bus was on scene to assist with the transportation of tenants to nearby hotel accommodations arranged for by VAU.

The EDU performed chemical analysis examinations on the substance while at the scene. It was determined that the substance’s chemical composition rendered it explosive. As a result, EDU removed the chemicals and with the implementation of explosive charges, detonated the hazardous material in a containment apparatus rendering the materials inert.

Police and Hazardous Materials crews continued to search the suspect suite for traces of any other likened materials. It is anticipated that the building will be deemed safe for residents to return later this morning.

The New Westminster police have detained the tenant of the suite, a 30 year old male. The criminal investigation continues with members from the major crime unit. The purpose for the suspect possessing the hazardous material is as yet to be determined.