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Police: package designed to mimic bomb

September 23, 2012
By JACKIE STARK - Journal Staff Writer ( , The Mining Journal

MARQUETTE - The contents of a suspicious package found in a bathroom in the Sawyer Medical Center were assembled to replicate an explosive device, according to the Marquette County Sheriff's Office.

The package was removed from the bathroom and disrupted by the Michigan State Police bomb squad using a robot with a water charge.

The sheriff's office first searched the medical center as well as the Sawyer International Airport after bomb threats were made against both facilities.

Article Photos

A sign points to the Sawyer International Airport commercial airlines terminal Saturday morning. Sawyer International was one of five locations to receive a bomb threat Friday. Though a suspicious package was found inside the airport, it did not contain a bomb or other dangerous materials. Inbound flights were canceled Friday and normal airport operations resumed Saturday morning. (Journal photo by Jackie Stark)

A second suspicious package was also located inside the airport. Police said an explosive-detecting canine alerted on a backpack, which was later found to contain camping gear. Police said they do not believe the backpack is linked to the bomb threats.

All inbound flights to Sawyer International were canceled Friday, though airport operations resumed as normal Saturday morning.

The threats made against the airport and the medical center were just two in a rash of bomb threats that occurred Friday. Also threatened were Marquette General Hospital, Northern Michigan University and Northstar Academy.

Teachers and students were evacuated from Northstar Friday morning without incident. A search of the building found nothing suspicious.

Police also cleared MGH and NMU Friday.

Police have identified a person of interest in the case, though they are not releasing any names at this time. Police said they believe all five bomb threats appear to be linked to this person.

An investigation into the threats and the device found at the medical center is ongoing.

Assisting at the scene at both the Sawyer and Northstar locations were Marquette County Rescue 131, Escanaba Public Safety K9 unit, Sawyer International personnel, Forsyth Township Police and Fire Departments and the Red Cross.

Jackie Stark can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 242. Her email address is jstark@miningjournal. net.



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