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Bomb scare closes streets

Tue., Jan. 18, 2011

 Officials spent hours investigating a suspicious package found on the northeast corner of Main Avenue and Washington Street on Monday morning that closed or restricted several downtown Spokane streets.

 A city worker reported the package at 9:26 a.m., just before the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Unity March was set to begin, said Cpt. Frank Scalise of the Spokane Police Department. The march, which began at the INB Performing Arts Center and ended at the River Park Square mall, was slightly rerouted as a precaution.

 Members of the Spokane City-County Explosives Disposal Unit responded to investigate the package, Scalise said. The FBI also joined the investigation.

 It is unclear if any explosive materials were found in the package, but the package was rendered safe by the Explosives Disposal Unit, an SPD news release said.

 The bomb scare closed Washington Street from Second Avenue to Spokane Falls Boulevard, and vehicle traffic was restricted on Spokane Falls from Browne Street to Howard Street.

 Businesses in the area were notified of the incident, but it was their choice whether to evacuate, Scalise said.

 Many who parked in the area were unable to access their vehicles for several hours, but “certainly, safety always trumps inconvenience,” he said.

Chelsea Bannach


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