Empty suitcase near gas line prompts evacuations near downtown Rochester
(THE MED CITY BEAT) - An empty suitcase found leaning against a gas line prompted evacuations in a neighborhood just north of downtown Rochester Tuesday evening.
Rochester police responded to a report of a suspicious suitcase near the intersection of Civic Center Drive NW and 6th Avenue NW just before 4 p.m. Because of its proximity to a natural gas line, officers called in the bomb squad. Nearby residents were also evacuated as a precaution.
The St. Paul bomb squad responded to the scene around 6:30 p.m. Investigators used a robotic X-ray machine to examine the contents of the suitcase. After about a half hour of processing the images, investigators determined the suitcase was empty.
Police began removing traffic blockades and allowing people back into their homes just after 7 p.m.
Rochester police said there were no specific threats made, but the positioning of the suitcase suggests it was left there intentionally.
(Cover photo: The Med City Beat)