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5th Ave Mall Evacuated after Bear Spray Discharged

By Neil Torquiano, Digital Producer, ntorquiano@ktuu.com
Published On: Oct 11 2013 09:05:55 PM AKDT
Updated On: Oct 11 2013 09:06:40 PM AKDT
5th Avenue Mall

KTUU-TV

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -

Shoppers and workers at the 5th Avenue had to end their evening shorter than expected after bear spray was discharged Friday evening, according to the Anchorage Fire Department and mall officials.

Sometime before 8 p.m., hazmat crews were called on scene due to bear spray and the mall evacuated. The popular downtown shopping center opens at 10 a.m. and closes at 9 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Mall officials say the mall shut down an hour before closing and no serious damage was caused by the incident.

Anchorage police confirmed that people had reactions to the discharge.

There were no immediate reports of serious injuries and the cause of the incident was not immediately known.

In a separate incident earlier Friday, the State Office Building in Juneau had an evacuation after shipping material came apart in a package and prompted a white substance scare, which was later determined to be nonhazardous.

This is a developing story. Please check KTUU.com and the Channel 2 newscasts for updates.