Baltimore Mayor: No Bomb Found After Search, Evacuations

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Police found no bomb after searching a suspicious vehicle that prompted evacuations in a large swath of downtown Baltimore, Mayor Bernard "Jack" Young said in a statement on Monday.

Young's announcement followed more than four hours of investigation by bomb technicians and hazardous material crews who were dispatched to a parking garage where the car was parked.

Young said around 3:30 p.m. that the area remained blocked off and that precautionary sweeps would continue for the next several hours. People whose vehicles are stuck downtown were encouraged to find another way home.

The police activity affected large office buildings, apartments and a shopping mall near the city's Inner Harbor.

Young's office said the episode began around 10:40 a.m. when the city's fire department received a threat of a suspicious vehicle parked at a building. The statement said local and federal law enforcement officials were on the scene and that all buildings in the surrounding area were evacuated.

One of the evacuated buildings is the headquarters of T. Rowe Price and also houses the firm PricewaterhouseCoopers. Stephen Luck, a security specialist at T. Rowe Price, told The Baltimore Sun that the building's fire alarm activated shortly after 11 a.m.

He said the company later told employees that a suspicious vehicle was being investigated in the garage.

People in some of the surrounding buildings were asked to shelter in place. No one was reported hurt.

Carrie Meyers, 28, a downtown Baltimore resident and veterinary technician, said she had never before seen authorities block off the streets next to her apartment building. She said she wasn't ordered to evacuate, but was still concerned about the situation.

"I got an alert on my phone and then I looked out the window and saw a firetruck," she said while walking her dog with a firetruck in the backdrop and sirens blaring. "I wasn't sure if I needed to leave the building."

Christian Law, 33 who works in celebrity booking, had planned to walk his Yorkie after work. But the walk was interrupted by the evacuation. He worried about how long he would have to wait to get to his condo.

"I came home from work and found the yellow tape," Law said referring to the police tape being used to mark the evacuation area. "(The police officer) told me we couldn't get to the building."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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