It took Columbus authorities about an hour Monday night to determine that a suspicious package near the Columbus Convention & Trade Center was high-dollar camera equipment and not an explosive.
Norfolk Southern Rail officials called authorities about the package around 7:45 p.m. The package was between Columbus State University's Yancey Center at One Arsenal and the Trade Center. The all-clear signal was given at 8:55 after a bomb technician carried the hard-shell case to a make-shift command center on Front Avenue.
The Yancey Center was evacuated and law enforcement closed Front Avenue for about a block and a half. Ninth Street was closed at Broadway in front of the MarrIott, which was not evacuated.
"Any time we get a call of a suspicious package we are going to treat it like a suspicious package until we determine there is no threat," said Brad Hicks, the director of the Columbus Homeland Security department.
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The package's contents were determined by X-ray, Hicks said.
"It was some really high-dollar Nikon camera equipment," Hicks said.
The area near the train tracks going into Alabama is commonly used by professional and amateur photographers.