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AN UNKNOWN white powder has caused chaos at a Commonwealth Bank branch in Altona, with emergency crews evacuating the building after a man who came in contact with the substance complained of numb lips.

Emergency services were called to the bank on the corner of Pier and Blyth streets after a bank employee discovered the substance about 5.20pm.

MFB Hazmat crews spent several hours conducting safety checks and isolating the chemical inside the building.    A man and woman were taken to Footscray Hospital but were sent back to the scene to be decontaminated and did not return to hospital, according to a Western Health spokesperson.

Initials tests conducted by MFB technicians were inconclusive and the unknown chemical was on Tuesday night handed over to Victoria Police forensic teams for further testing.  Herald Sun