A "very loud noise" from a trash can outside the West building of the Clarence M. Mitchell Jr. Courthouse in Baltimore Thursday prompted an evacuation and caused traffic delays downtown.
The noise reportedly came from a trash can immediately in front of the courthouse at about 2:30 p.m., causing Calvert Street to be shut down between Saragtoga and Baltimore streets.
Lt. Carla Lighty, a spokeswoman for the Baltimore City Sheriff’s office, stopped short of calling the noise an explosion and said the investigation into what caused the incident was ongoing. She also said that no one was injured as a result of the noise.
"At this time though we don’t, and cannot, pinpoint exactly what type of device it was," Lighty said.
Baltimore Police Department’s bomb squad and bomb disposal robot were called to the scene. Federal agencies, such as the Department of Homeland Security and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were also assisting with the investigation.
The most recent bomb scare in the city came last month when a suspicious substance was found on the door of Rep. Elijah Cummings offices. The “putty-like” substance found at the scene was later determined not to be explosive.
In January of 2011, state office buildings in the city were evacuated because of suspicious packages, which later turned out to be filled with office supplies.