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Suspicous package found at recycling center

Published 09/12 2013 06:12PM

Updated 09/12 2013 06:34PM

CHAMPAIGN -- A worker thought he found a bomb while he was sorting recycling on the UI campus. Luckily, it was a false alarm. The bomb squad responded to check on the suspicious package. The call came in from the Waste Transfer Center. WCIA-3's Anna Carrera has more.

Investigators think it may have been somebody's class project, but it wasn't anything explosive. Even so, the man who found it says it scared him because he thought it was a bomb.

"A golf bag where guys put their irons in to play golf."

That's what Kendrick Pratt found among the wood, metal and other waste workers were sorting at the recycling center.

"I noticed it was kind of heavy, so I looked at it and I unzipped it and opened it up and pulled it out and it was a bunch of wires leading to an electronic circuit board."

Even though he didn't know what it was, Pratt says he knew what to do.

"At first, looking at it, I thought it was a bomb, so I set it down real easy and ran and got my immediate supervisor."

Police from Champaign and the UI blocked off St. Mary's Road on either side of the building. Traffic had to be rerouted while investigators took a closer look.

"It was suspicious and out of place so we came as the bomb squad and took care of it."

Officers used a robot when they got close to the package.

"We do a lot of stuff remotely with the robot. It can tear things apart, manipulate it. It has all sorts of cameras so we work a lot with that."

Investigators say it wasn't a bomb, but they're still glad they took the time to make sure everything was okay.

"Everything's clear. We determined it was safe, so we're good to go."

Pratt says he was pretty shaken up after finding the golf bag, but after it was all over, he was ready to get back to work and traffic returned to normal about 2 pm.

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