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Possible hazmat situation at Sarasota mall deemed safe

1:43 PM, Oct 15, 2013   |    comments
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SARASOTA, Fla. -- The Westfield Southgate Mall in Sarasota is to reopen after a brief lockdown and evacuation Tuesday afternoon.

Just before noon, an unknown suspect allegedly walked into the LensCrafters store inside Westfield Southgate Shopping Center, threw an unknown substance and fled the area.

The Westfield Southgate Shopping Center was closed and secured while hazmat teams conduct an investigation. Crews from the Sarasota County Fire Department sent a team in to sample the substance and people were quarantined inside during the test.

The substance is believed to be a solid product that was crushed up and is not believed to be hazardous, according to the Sarasota Police Department. 

There are no reported injuries or medical issues at this time.

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