A bomb scare yesterday morning caused the evacuation of the Federal Building on Liberty Street, which houses the Ann Arbor post office. The scare came just days after the Bush administration declared that the terror alert be raised to “high risk” orange, the highest level since 2001, when the alert scale was created.
Ann Arbor Police Department Sgt. Ed Stuck said the scare occurred at 10:45 a.m., when a postal worker moving a package accidentally dropped the box, causing it to break open. The postal worker discovered two hand grenades inside the box.
The workers called the AAPD and immediately evacuated the building. The U.S. Marshal’s service and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms also responded to the call.
Investigators and police bomb dogs searched the building. Stuck said the search lasted for less than an hour, finding no evidence of any wrongdoing. The building’s normal operations resumed after the evacuation ended.
Stuck said the grenades were determined to be dummy grenades – hollowed-out grenades that do not contain fuses or explosives. Dummy grenades can be legally purchased at most army supply stores and are used for anything from paperweights to training devices and memorabilia, he added.
“There is nothing illegal here. It’s perfectly legal to mail them,” Struck said. “The only alarm is that they resembled hand grenades, and the current situation that we are living in caused alarm. The people in the post office and the federal building did exactly as they should have done.”
The package had been sent from a Minnesota address to an Ann Arbor resident. Stuck said the AAPD will not continue to investigate the incident, as there was no crime.