Police investigating a suspicious vehicle Monday morning in a parking garage in downtown Baltimore found containers of gasoline, sources told the 11 News I-Team.
Police were called shortly after 11 a.m. to a parking garage in the 100 block of East Pratt Street. Police and building sources told the I-Team that a van entered the garage early Monday morning and parked. Security later smelled gasoline and police saw containers of gasoline inside and started an investigation.
A city official told the I-Team that law enforcement was doing a final sweep of buildings around the parking garage where the suspicious vehicle is parked. If they don't find anything, the all clear will be given about 4 p.m.
Bomb technicians and hazardous materials crews suited up and entered the building around 12:49 p.m., SkyTeam 11 reported. About an hour later, the bomb squad deemed it safe for Fire Department personnel to go in and take gas readings, SkyTeam 11 reported.
A Maryland Department of the Environment truck arrived at the scene around 3:43 p.m., SkyTeam 11 reported.
Streets in the area were closed off, including, but not limited to, Pratt, Light, Lombard and Calvert streets and Guilford Avenue.
According to the mayor's office, the evacuated areas include:
- East Baltimore Street to the north
- Conway Street to the south
- South Charles Street to the west
- Commerce Street to the east
Authorities evacuated nearby buildings and pedestrian traffic was shut down in a two-block perimeter. The buildings that house T. Rowe Price, PNC, TransAmerica and the Gallery were evacuated, SkyTeam 11 reported. The Inner Harbor was cleared all the way to the Maryland Science Center, SkyTeam 11 reported.
People in surrounding buildings were being asked to shelter in place.
Mayor Jack Young issued a statement around 3:37 p.m., saying, "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. We are asking everyone to remain clear of the evacuated area.
"Those who have a vehicle parked in the evacuated area, we ask that you please find alternative transportation home. We will send an update when the area is cleared and you are able to pick up your vehicle.
"Again, we want to ensure everyone remains safe as we work through this matter."
No one has been hurt.
Baltimore City Public Schools said some yellow school buses may be delayed by about 25-30 minutes. Students who travel on MTA near the Inner Harbor should allow extra time.
This report will be updated.