Suspicious package contained ammonium chloride

Authorities said a solution containing the chemical ammonium chloride was found. Firefighters clothed in hazardous material suits removed the package, authorities said.

Police received a report around 11:45 a.m. about the suspicious package inside the bank branch, at Ponce de Leon and Frederica Street.

The bank was immediately cleared of employees, authorities said.

Bomb squad personnel who responded to the scene determined the package was not an explosive device, and the hazmat team was sent in, authorities said.

Atlanta Fire Department public information officer Capt. Bill May said a solution was found in an unknown container. A sample determined the solution contained ammonium chloride, which can be toxic to respiratory and skin contact.

Ammonium chloride is salt-like in its purest form, is sold in blocks at hardware stores and has varied industrial and manufacturing uses. It can induce nausea or vomiting.

The hazmat firefighters underwent decontamination procedures as a precaution.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is working with Bank of America officials on the investigation, authorities said.

A lane of westbound traffic on Ponce de Leon was blocked during the investigation.

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