Emergency officials evacuated a large area in downtown Baltimore on Sept. 9, 2019, after an abandoned van loaded with 1,000 gallons of gasoline was discovered in the parking garage of one the city’s most vulnerable companies.
Around 11 a.m. ET, police received a call about a suspicious vehicle in a parking garage located at 100 E. Pratt Street, home to one of the city’s largest private employers, T. Rowe Price. Officials quickly began the evacuation from several high-rise buildings.
Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young tweeted to dispel fears of a potential bomb and ensured constituents that officials were working to make sure everyone was safe.
Young tweeted: “After several hours of investigating a suspicious vehicle, no bomb was detected. We are currently in the process of conducting precautionary sweeps in an effort to ensure public safety. These sweeps are expected to take several hours.”
One thousand T. Rowe Price employees were evacuated by afternoon on Monday. The investment giant shifted trading operations to their offices outside the city. Additionally, the company worked to find alternative transportation for those who had parked in the parking garage, according to spokesman Brian Lewbart.
Lewbart stated: “Our first priority is for the safety of our associates.” The company manages $1.07 trillion in assets. As of 3 p.m. people were still unable to return to the building.
Baltimore officials who were investigating the van were assisted by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. Baltimore Police Col. Sheree Briscoe told City Council members that a four-block area around 100 E. Pratt Street had been evacuated and motorists and pedestrians were told to avoid the area as the investigation continues.
At first, Baltimore officials only began to evacuate 100 E. Pratt Street, however, 80 minutes later, emergency crews expanded the evacuation zone near the Inner Harbor to include The Gallery Shopping Mall, the Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace, and Brookshire Suites Hotels. At 1:30 p.m., 22 Light Street was also evacuated.
By Jeanette Smith
The Baltimore Sun: ‘No bomb’ found in van with 1,000 gallons of gas in downtown Baltimore parking garage, precautionary sweeps continue
Image Courtesy of crwr’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License