‘Suspicious device’ on West Gaines St. was old piece of mechanical equipment

There is no threat to the public.
Airmen from Tyndall Air Force Base determined the “suspicious device” a construction crew discovered on West Gaines Street Wednesday morning was an old piece of
Published: Jul. 20, 2022 at 11:13 AM EDT|Updated: Jul. 20, 2022 at 5:11 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Airmen from Tyndall Air Force Base determined the “suspicious device” a construction crew discovered on West Gaines Street Wednesday morning was an old piece of mechanical equipment.

The Tallahassee Police Department’s Bomb Squad was on the scene of the 900 block of West Gaines St. for several hours, since TPD originally believed the device may have been historical ordnance.

“The device will be buried in the field it was uncovered in, as it poses no threat to public safety,” TPD said Wednesday afternoon.

Roads in the Collegetown area were closed for four hours, including the intersection of Gaines Street and Lake Bradford and South Madison, as multiple TPD units worked the scene. Hundreds of students evacuated from at least three apartments in the area, including Stadium Center, The Lofts and Enclave Apartments.

The roads opened back up, and law enforcement started to leave the area around 3 p.m.

The Tallahassee Online Police Statistics map indicates police first responded to the area around 9:48 a.m.

One student told WCTV that while she waited, she was confident police had everything under control, but she was looking forward to getting back into her apartment.

“One of my friends came and was like banging on my door. Then I got a phone call from another friend that was like, get out of your apartment what are you doing? Then finally I was like Oh my God. I packed my cat up and like grabbed my phone and just ran out to one of my friends’ apartments.”

Once the roads had reopened and TPD cleared the scene, residents were given the green light to return to their apartments.

Dale Mabry Airfield, which was an Army base during World War II, was once located in this area. Old bombs have turned up before. In Nov. 2016, construction crews found a WWII-era bomb under a rooted tree on Madison Street. The Air Force responded to detonate that bomb, placing it in a 14-foot hole at the construction site and covering it with sandbags before exploding it.

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