Home About Archives RSS Feed

Abandoned Bag Prompts Bridge Closure

Tammy Daniels & Andy McKeever

State police bomb squad examine X-rays of the suspicious bag left under Veterans Memorial Bridge, which is shown in the background.

 

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A bag full of dirty clothes shut down one of the city's main arteries for more than two hours on Wednesday night.

The suspicious bag was reported abandoned under the Veterans Memorial Bridge just after 6 p.m.

An initial investigation led police to believe the bag could contain a bomb or explosives and they closed the roads around 7 p.m. The bomb squad was called about less than a half hour later.

"We had a suspicious package under the artery," said Public Safety Commissioner E. John Morocco, who described it as "an old dufflebag."  "We originally checked it with a thermal scanner and we found a hot spot."

That was enough to call in the state police bomb squad, he said. Two squad members arrived around 9 p.m.

Access to Marshall Street between Main and River streets and Veterans Memorial Bridge, carrying Route 2, was blocked and diverted over Main Street and River Street.

Shortly before 10 p.m. state police finished the investigation and found the bag was not harmful. They took X-rays using a portable machine to determine there were no explosives. Once that was completed, a trooper wearing a safety vest opened the bag and looked inside to confirm.

The team brought along the remote-control robot but did not deploy it.

A dufflebag of some type can be seen under the Veterans Memorial Bridge.

"The city should be so fortunate to have such a quick response by police, fire department and ambulance," Mayor Richard Alcombright said when the roads were being reopened. "I want to give a very big thank you to the state police for their help."

The four-lane memorial bridge continues Route 2 over Marshall Street, the Hoosic River and parking lots on both sides of Marshall.

What appeared to be a large, dark bag of some sort could be seen about midway between the concrete pillars supporting the deck on the edge of the east side of the parking lot near the sidewalk at about 9 p.m. The nearby Mohawk Tavern was dark and reportedly evacuated.

North Adams Police were being aided by a state police cruiser and Clarksburg police to prevent motorists from driving under or over the bridge.

Officer Jason Wood said the bag was "full of dirty clothes." An officer is still investigating but Wood wasn't sure it if there was anything in the bag to identify the owner. "It was in an odd spot," he said, adding the bag is now "lost property."

The last time a suspicious package raised this level of caution was more than two years during a failed bank robbery attempt by Robert A. Bywaters. Bywaters claimed to have a bomb in a bag he left on the sidewalk in front of Hoosac Bank on Main Street.

The main drag was shut down for nearly 12 hours before the state police bomb squad removed the bag and disposed of the contents.

Updated and rewritten throughout to add and correct details; Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2010, 10:58 p.m.

Update on Saturday, Dec.18: The bag turns out to have been stolen from a woman at the Thrifty Bundle laundromat on State Road. According to a report in the North Adams Transcript, someone grabbed her purse and, when she gave chase, someone else stole her bag.

4 Comments
Tags: road closure, bomb      

Support Local News

We show up at hurricanes, budget meetings, high school games, accidents, fires and community events. We show up at celebrations and tragedies and everything in between. We show up so our readers can learn about pivotal events that affect their communities and their lives.

How important is local news to you? You can support independent, unbiased journalism and help iBerkshires grow for as a little as the cost of a cup of coffee a week.

News Headlines
Archambault Leads Wahconah to Fall Ball Win over Mount Greylock
Q&A: Pothier Tickled Pink To Still Be Wearing Blue
Pittsfield COVID-19 Cases Trending Down
COVID-19 Cases Increasing in Adams
Soares' Celebrity Golf Event to Benefit Veterans Grows in Second Year
Letter: Police at Williamstown Elementary
Northern Berkshire Habitat for Humanity Raffling Off Shed
Community Recreation Association to Hold Food Drive
BCArc Names New Director of Employment Services
StoryWalk In Williamstown

Police Logs

Pittsfield Police

North Adams

Crimewatch Links

North Adams CrimeWatch

Stamford/Clarksburg CrimeWatch

Pittsfield CrimeWatch

Emergency: 911
Adams 413-743-1212
Clarksburg 413-663-7795
Cheshire 413-743-1501
Dalton 413-684-0300
Great Barrington 413-528-0306
Lanesborough 413-443-4107
Lee 413-243-2100
Lenox 413-637-2346
North Adams 413-664-4944
Pittsfield 413-448-9700
Richmond 413-698-3315
Stockbridge 413-298-4179
Williamstown 413-458-5733
West Stockbridge 413-232-7938
State Police  
Cheshire Barracks
413-743-
4700
Lee Barracks 413-243-0600
Shaftsbury, Vt., Barracks 802-442-3263

 



Categories:
Adams (92)
Alford (0)
Becket (8)
Cheshire (23)
Clarksburg (41)
Dalton (6)
Egremont (2)
Florida (9)
Great Barrington (34)
Hancock (5)
Hinsdale (5)
Lanesborough (31)
Lee (14)
Lenox (11)
Monterey (0)
Mount Washington (1)
New Ashford (5)
New Marlborough (2)
North Adams (248)
Otis (2)
Peru (3)
Pittsfield (320)
Pownal (16)
Readsboro (17)
Richmond (10)
Sandisfield (5)
Savoy (6)
Sheffield (5)
Stamford (31)
State (1)
Stockbridge (6)
Tyringham (1)
Washington (1)
West Stockbridge (1)
Williamstown (81)
Windsor (3)
Archives:
August 2020 (1)
July 2020 (10)
June 2020 (5)
May 2020 (8)
April 2020 (3)
March 2020 (6)
February 2020 (7)
January 2020 (7)
December 2019 (13)
November 2019 (3)
October 2019 (9)
September 2019 (3)
Tags:
Vehicle Armed Robbery Search & Rescue Larceny Fraud Mvi Motorcycles Motor Vehicle Accident Heroin Injuries Shooting Hit & Run Search Burglary Motor Vehicle Stabbing Buglaries Homicide Crime Watch Assault Drug Charges Robbery Murder Firearms Rape Veremko Structure Fire Pedestrians Accident Fire Missing Persons Assaults Drugs Break-ins Fatal
Popular Entries:
Great Barrington Crashes Leave Two Dead
North Adams Woman Killed in Route 2 Crash
Man Killed by Bull in Clarksburg
Clarksburg Talks Burglary
Clarksburg Selectman Responds
North Adams Man Arraigned On Charges Of Animal Cruelty; Pleads Not Guilty
North Adams Man Crashes SUV Into Home
Fatal Accident Closes Route 8 in Adams
Kincaid Pleads Guilty to Aggravated Rape
Drug Ring King Sentenced to Cedar Junction
Recent Entries:
State Police Bust $3M Illegal Pot Growing Operation in Savoy
First-Responders Searching for Lost Hiker on Mount Greylock
Pittsfield Driver Injured in Elm Street Accident
North Adams Police Investigate Possible Shooting Incident
Williamstown Police Looking into Cemetery Vandalism
Florida Woman Dies in Motorcycle Accident
Pittsfield Fire Responds to Kitchen Blaze
Juvenile Arrested in North Adams Shooting
North Adams Police Seeking Information on Shooting Incident
Pittsfield Police Seek Information on Sunday Night Shootings