MEDIA CONTACT: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930
At around 12:15 pm, Friday, October 16, the Prince George's County Fire/Emergency Medical Services Department Bomb Squad was summoned by the Maryland National Capital Park Police to investigate a suspicious package. Bomb Squad personnel arrived on the pedestrian walkway that runs along side the Woodrow Wilson Bridge on the Inner Loop of the Beltway. A large box was observed by a citizen about midway across the bridge. The unusually large size box and it's location alongside a concrete barrier at the midway point of the bridge seemed out of place and suspicious.
As a precaution for motorists and the bomb squad, the local lanes of the Beltway were closed to allow personnel to work without moving vehicles nearby and for the safety of drivers that may have been distracted.
Bomb Technicians visually inspected the box interior via X-ray images which proved to be inconclusive. Data from a shipping label was used to contact the company listed. Bomb Techs confirmed the contents of the box and were found to be non-explosive.
At about 3:30 pm the All-Clear was given and all lanes were reopened a short time later.
We understand that Interstate 95 is a major North/South corridor for the east coast and we make every attempt to avoid closing this road for any period of time. The Fire/EMS Department must take every precaution to protect our personnel and civilians from potential harm and we found it prudent to close the local lanes while we investigated this package.
The Fire/EMS Department also believes in "If you see something - say something." We commend the citizen for seeing something out of place and contacting authorities. Even though this box was found to be clear of anything sinister it certainly was out of place and warranted a through investigation. The large box contained HVAC parts.
The Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department was assisted by the County Police Department, Maryland National Park Police, Maryland State Police, Virginia State Police, Maryland State Highway Administration and the Alexandria Fire Department.
Images from scene by Mark E. Brady, PGFD PIO