Police Detonate Suspicious Package Near IRS Building

DETROIT (WWJ) – A suspicious backpack that caused a bomb scare near the IRS building in downtown Detroit has been detonated by Detroit Police Bomb Squad.

Detroit police said around 4:30 am Wednesday they responded to a 911 call reporting the suspicious package. When police arrived, they located the package, a black backpack, outside the gates of the IRS building.

“The officers came to see what the actual device was. Immediately when they discovered the device, they backed off the situation and the bomb squad was called in,” Detroit Homeland Security Inspector Don Johnson said.

Johnson said the safety perimeter was set around the building, located across from the MGM Grand Casino, as the IRS building was evacuated.

Police also blocked off traffic on Michigan Avenue from Cass Avenue to the Lodge Freeway, as well as a few exits on M-10, for nearly three hours.

While performing an X-ray scan police spotted a power source, prompting them to detonate the bag at the scene instead of removing it to detonate somewhere else, Johnson said.

“We had a power source in there that we were kind of concerned about, but besides that nothing more than that, that we can actually see,” Johnson said. “A power source can be batteries… things of that nature.”

Johnson said he would not call the package an explosive or bomb.

The area has since reopened. Investigators are currently working to find out what exactly was inside the backpack, whether it was left behind on accident or if someone was trying to make a threat.

Stay with WWJ Newsradio 950 and CBSDetroit.com for updates.

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