Suspicious item that prompted federal building evacuation was fireworks
A loud boom resounded from the steps of the Minton-Capeheart federal building as the Indianapolis Metro Police bomb squad detonated a suspicious package on Monday afternoon.
The item turned out to be consumer-grade fireworks, according to police.
The woman who brought in the item was questioned by the FBI after telling security staff that the item was fireworks. No charges have been filed at this time.
It happened at the building in the 500 block of Pennsylvania Street. Employees were evacuated at around 2:15 pm for about 90 minutes while police and the bomb squad investigated the item.
Indianapolis Metro Police tell Eyewitness News that the item turned up during the X-ray process. It was not in a bag, but in a checkpoint property bowl. That's a container that people passing through security use for keys and loose change.
Pennsylvania St. was closed between St. Clair and Vermont Streets while police investigated.
The children who were at daycare inside the building were taken to Harrison College during the evacuation.
Liz Durden was on the fourth floor, next in line at the IRS office, when an unusual announcement came over the intercom: everyone was being told to evacuate.
While Durden said everything was orderly, she said she was still concerned, given the recent Boston Marathon bombings and violent incidents at federal buildings over the years.
Separate incident at federal courthouse early Monday
It marks the second time in less than 24 hours that the Indianapolis Metro Police bomb squad was called to investigate a suspicious item.
Early Monday morning, the bomb squad detonated a backpack that was left under a window of the Federal Courthouse at the corner of Meridian and Ohio Streets downtown.
A police K9 trained to detect explosives "hit" on the package, so technicians warned nearby hotels and detonated the backpack on the scene.
According to IMPD spokesman Michael Hewitt, the explosive material in the backpack was identified as fireworks. Another substance in the backpack was identified as marijuana.
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