UPDATE: Suspicious package rendered safe outside Chattanooga Jew - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Suspicious package rendered safe outside Chattanooga Jewish center

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UPDATE: Police have rendered the suspicious package safe found near the Jewish temple; police and bomb squad teams have concluded their work at the site.

After the package was rendered safe, it was revealed to be packed with books that were to be donated to the Mizpah Congregation, and delivered by the U.S. Postal Service.

But police tell Channel 3 that even the bomb squad said the package looked suspicious and that it was the right thing to call.

Chattanooga Police spokesperson Timothy McFarland says officers responded to 923 McCallie Avenue at the Mizpah Congregation on a suspicious package about 7:30am Wednesday. A few blocks of McCallie Avenue was shut down from Magnolia to Central and people in nearby homes and businesses were evacuated.

"We don't know what's in there so we carry out our procedures to determine what's actually in it," said McFarland. "You're not going to walk up to a package that looks suspicious and just pick it up like it's a box of books or anything else. It could blow up in your face."

Assuming the worst, police kept Channel 3 at a safe distance. Still, our crew heard a "boom" as police instructed evacuees to cover their ears. After the boom sound, the cardboard box looked torn apart. It was then, 90 minutes after first arriving, that the bomb squad rendered the package safe.

The Mizpah Congregation released this statement Wednesday morning:

The Chattanooga Police and Fire Departments responded this morning to a suspicious package that was found at our building entrance. Upon investigation by the Chattanooga bomb squad, it was found to be a package of books that an individual had mailed through the USPS to be donated to our library. The box was left in a position from which labeling and postal markings were not visible. We appreciate the response of the Chattanooga Police Department, Fire Department and bomb squads.

The Chattanooga Police Department's Bomb Squad responded to the scene as well at the Chattanooga Fire Department and Hamilton County EMS.

No one was hurt during the call.


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