Bomb technicians safely removed eight incendiary devices from a pickup truck in the parking lot of a bank at Canal Street and Jefferson Davis Parkway Monday, according to police spokesman Frank Robertson.
The investigation began when an officer noticed the item in a truck parked in the parking lot around 9 a.m. Monday, according to NOPD Garry Flot, another department spokesman. The bank employees and nearby neighbors were evacuated as the New Orleans Fire Department and the NOPD Special Operations Division brought in to investigate, Flot said.The police officer was working a private detail at the bank and was alerted that there had been a vehicle parked in the parking lot since Friday, said Robertson. The police officer has prior military experience and recognized an incendiary device when he opened the truck’s door, Robertson said.
“It had a timer and it also had a fuse on it and it was smoldering,” said Robertson.
“Something activated, because it began to sizzle,” said Robertson, adding the officer then observed smoke and quickly closed the vehicle door.
“Initially, our bomb robot went into the truck and found three inside,” said Robertson.
When a bomb squad sergeant then moved in on the vehicle he found five more devices, said Robertson. The eight incendiary devices have been placed in a “bomb-pod”, said Robertson, who described them as looking like candlesticks, “almost TNT like”.
The bomb-pod is being taken to a location where the devices will be examined and possibly detonated, said Robertson.
Police are trying to locate the owner of the truck, said Robertson.
Robertson estimated 100 people were evacuated from the area. Streetcars were also stopped from running past the location.
Nearby Warren Easton High School was place on a brief lock-down said Principal Alexina Medley. The school was placed on a precautionary lock-down, but after speaking with police Medley said she was told the school was not in “imminent danger” and the lock-down was lifted.
The scene was cleared after about 5 hours. Traffic was passing one direction on Canal Street toward downtown at 1:30 p.m.