October 14, 2010 in City

Police detonate bag left in Deaconess parking lot

By The Spokesman-Review
Dan Pelle photo

Spokane police block traffic on Monroe Street as an explosives robot heads north on the sidewalk from Fifth Avenue on Wednesday to check on a suspicious device in a nearby parking lot.
(Full-size photo)

A bomb squad blew up a suspicious bag left in an employee parking lot Wednesday morning at Deaconess Medical Center.

The Spokane Explosive Device Unit detonated the bag late in the morning after traffic near Fifth Avenue and Monroe Street was blocked for hours.

A Deaconess employee parking his car in the gravel lot west of the hospital noticed the bag next to a concrete barrier and notified police about 8 a.m.

Police closed Monroe between Fourth and Fifth avenues, and Fifth from Lincoln to Madison streets, as well as the eastbound side of Fourth Avenue along Interstate 90. They cleared people from a roughly 300-foot radius around the device for most of the morning.

Many hospital workers exited the building but were told they could go back and should stay away from windows facing the lot.

Police spokeswoman Jennifer DeRuwe said there was no threat. The bag, she said, could have simply been discarded or left behind.

Officers did not specify what led to their caution or whether the bag contained an explosive. A robot was deployed during the operation to collect the bag for safe disposal.

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