Illinois State Capitol on Lockdown

By Jack Phillips, Epoch Times
July 6, 2017 4:28 pm Last Updated: July 6, 2017 4:47 pm

The State Capitol of Illinois was placed on lockdown on Thursday, delaying the vote to override the governor’s veto.

UPDATE: Hazmat crews have given the all-clear. The building will reopen at 3:30 p.m., fire officials told The Associated Press.

Hazmat crews were called in to investigate suspicious powder at the governor’s office, WGN-9 reported.

At 2:10 p.m. local time, an alarm went off in the Illinois House chambers.

“A total lockdown is now in effect for the Capitol building. No one should enter or exit the building. Please shelter yourself,” the announcement said, The Chicago Sun-Times reported.

Someone threw a substance at the governor’s office, it was reported.

Before the 1:30 p.m. vote on the governor’s veto, security guards were seen walking a woman out with her arms cuffed behind her back, WGN-TV reported.

Police didn’t elaborate on why the woman was detained. Gov. Bruce Rauner wasn’t in the building, according to his office.

Barry Helmerichs, fire chief in Springfield, Illinois, told Reuters his department sent a hazardous materials team to the Capitol after receiving a call at 1:26 p.m. CDT, 4 minutes before the House was set to go into session.

Helmerichs said his department is analyzing the powdery substance but has ordered everyone inside the statehouse to stay in place, including in the House chamber, where lawmakers were milling around while the building remained on lockdown.

“We don’t want them out and spreading this around,” he said, referring to the powder and noting caution was merited even though the powder might prove harmless.

Reuters contributed to this report.