At around 10 a.m., the hazmat situation was secured. Biohazard tape was put up all around the area as hazmat teams were seen testing the air quality both outside and inside the building. The incident prompted a massive response from both Chicago police and firefighters.
Officers had to block several streets around the federal building causing a traffic mess in downtown. Streets around the courthouse at 219 So. Dearborn St. have since reopened.
About an hour after emergency crews arrived, fire officials told ABC 7 the air quality inside the building was normal. No hazardous materials in the atmosphere were detected in the building or the CTA subway.
Level 2 Hazmat at 219 S Dearborn St. Per BC1, Air Quality good, no readings inside the building, and no danger to subway.— Chicago Fire Media (@CFDMedia) February 25, 2019
The Dirksen Federal Building was not evacuated, but no one was being allowed to enter. It's still unclear what the substance was that triggered this response, but officials said it is safe for people to be back inside the building.
Jerome Cushmeer came to the Dirksen Federal Building to try and file property paperwork and said he was shocked to see what was happening when he arrived.
"I saw just disaster right here and I didn't know what to expect at first," Cushmeer said. "I listened to the news actually on the radio and I didn't hear anything about it on the way in my truck and I got here and I'm looking like, 'what's going on?"