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False alarm: Two 'suspicious packages' trigger brief evacuation at State Capitol

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A brief scare at the State Capitol in St. Paul, where the discovery of two "suspicious packages" led to an evacuation of the building on Monday afternoon.

After the packages were found in a third-floor stairwell, the renovation work currently underway at the Capitol was halted and construction workers cleared out as the St. Paul Fire Department responded to the scene, according to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.

KSTP reports that State Patrol officers blocked off street access to the grounds as officials assessed the situation.

Meanwhile, security personnel were quoted by FOX 9 as saying the packages seemed "old," but "odd enough" to warrant caution.

What investigators found was nothing as remotely threatening as an explosive; an update from DPS says one of the packages contained brick mortar, while the other was filled with paper products.

At last report, Cedar Street near the Capitol grounds was still closed off but was expected to reopen soon.

There would have minimal threat to the public in any case – the building is currently closed to the public as it undergoes a massive restoration project.

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