Salem Radio Network News Saturday, March 2, 2024

U.S.

Salt Lake City bank tower evacuated, bomb squad says ‘suspicious’ object no threat

(Reuters) -A high-rise bank building in Salt Lake City was evacuated on Monday as authorities examined a “suspicious item” found in a nearby alley, but police said hours later that investigators determined the object posed no threat.

The item in question was described in a late-afternoon update from the Salt Lake City Police department as “an organic agricultural product,” but no further official information about the object was provided.

Police were first alerted to the object by a 911 emergency call shortly before 8 a.m. local time, and patrol officers arriving on the scene summoned the police hazardous devices unit, a police spokesperson said.

Ultimately, investigators from the city fire department, county bomb squad, health department, the Utah National Guard and the FBI joined police in evaluating the situation, and the U.S. Bank Tower, located adjacent to the suspicious object, was fully evacuated as a precaution, according to the spokesperson, Sergeant Mark Wian.

Occupants of other nearby businesses were urged to “shelter in place,” while a number of roads in the immediate vicinity were closed to traffic during the alert, Wian said.

The police department released a statement nearly eight hours later announcing an all-clear, saying its hazardous devices unit determined the item was “not a threat to the community.” The statement also said the unit “rendered safe” the suspicious object, but offered no clarification.

“We train extensively for these types of situations,” police Chief Mike Brown said in the statement. “Our response today underscores the responsiveness and readiness of our officers and detectives.”

(Reporting by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; editing by Rami Ayyub and Michael Perry)

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