The Canadian Embassy in Paris was evacuated Monday after an employee opened a suspicious envelope and had a nosebleed, but firefighters said the alert was a false alarm.

An embassy employee felt ill and had a nosebleed after opening an envelope that contained a piece of tissue soaked in liquid, raising the alert, said Florent Hivert, a fire department spokesman. Initial tests found that the contents were not toxic, he said.

The embassy employee was taken to a hospital for treatment, and the piece of tissue was taken to a laboratory for further analysis, Hivert said. He did not know whether the envelope had contained a message.

The embassy was expected to reopen soon, he said.

The boutique-lined Avenue Montaigne in western Paris, site of the embassy, was temporarily closed off to traffic, and onlookers were kept at a distance behind a police line. Men in white protective jumpsuits and gas masks went in and out of the building.

The embassy did not answer telephone calls, and France's Interior Ministry declined to comment.

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