No explosives found after hours-long incident at Mercy Hospital - KMOV.com

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No explosives found after hours-long incident at Mercy Hospital

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Traffic on I-270 (Credit: MoDOT) Traffic on I-270 (Credit: MoDOT)
Skyzoom 4 was over the scene after suspicious packages found at Mercy Hospital (Credit: KMOV) Skyzoom 4 was over the scene after suspicious packages found at Mercy Hospital (Credit: KMOV)

ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) – Two suspicious packages that were found at Mercy Hospital were not bombs, according to St. Louis City and County bomb squads. 

Two suspicious packages at Mercy Hospital forced a portion of Interstate 270 to close in both directions Monday morning.

According to police, the interstate was closed between Ladue Road and Highway 40 while officials respond to the area. The interstate reopened around 2:00 Monday afternoon.

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The hospital tweeted that two potentially explosive devices were found on the hospital campus. No patients or co-workers were in harm's way.

Police said a man came to the hospital for mental evaluation and had some device in a bag. An emergency department employee carried the devices outside and held one of them until the bomb squad arrived. The man did not make any threats when he dropped the bags at the hospital. Police have not released information if the man will face any charges.

One of the packages, a smaller one on the hospital's helipad, was blown up by a bomb squad robot around 1:00 to render it safe. Police later confirmed that bag had a cell phone and wires in it. A second, larger bag had clothes and tennis balls inside. No explosives were found in either bag.

Shortly before 12:30 p.m. Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, said he was briefed on the situation and directed the Missouri State Highway Patrol to work with local law enforcement. 

According to officials, the hospital was not evacuated or placed on lockdown. Some visitors to the hospital were unable to leave because a portion of the parking lot was closed for the investigation. Patients who were in the emergency room when the situation began were treated, but the hospital diverted any new patients to other hospitals at the time of the incident. Some patients who were in the heart hospital were moved to rooms in the eastern part of the building to be away from where the packages were found.

Officials with the FBI and police officers from St. Louis County and Creve Coeur responded to the scene. 

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