A pungent smell coming from a leaking battery forced the evacuation of an estimated 300 public officers from Tower #2 of the Warrens Office Complex in St Michael.
The offices remained closed for up to four hours as specialists from the Barbados Fire Service checked the floors of the 10-storey building, before determining that it was safe for employees to return to work and for the offices to be reopened.
Public Relations Officer of the Royal Barbados Police Force Acting Inspector Roland Cobbler told Barbados TODAY that once the source of the irritating odour was found on the top floor and the risk factors were eliminated, the all-clear was given at around 1.35 p.m.
However, up to an hour later, some departments, including a branch of the Barbados Revenue Authority had still not reopened for business.
At around 2 p.m. a security officer at the entrance to the building was heard telling a customer who was there to pay her road tax she might have had to wait for 20 minutes to half hour.
One customer described the scene inside the building as chaotic, with long lines of frustrated people waiting to pay for such things as licences and road tax.
Earlier, while fire officials carried out their investigations into the leak, police had cordoned off the area preventing vehicles from entering the compound.
Some of the evacuated workers stood hundreds of yards from the building, while others gathered within its precincts.