Suspicious package forces evacuation in Passaic

17 01 2011
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Last updated: Tuesday January 11, 2011, 10:05 PM
BY JUSTO BAUTISTA
The Record
STAFF WRITER

PASSAIC — Residents and students were evacuated Tuesday night while a bomb squad from the Passaic County Sheriff’s Department disarmed a “suspicious” package left near the corner of Temple Place and Harding Court, a sheriff’s spokesman said.

There were no injuries.

The package — a cooler with wires protruding — turned out to be “non-explosive,” said Bill Maer, a sheriff’s department spokesman. The cooler also contained batteries.

“There was a power source in the device,” Maer said.

City police and firefighters, the bomb squad, and the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Joint Terrorism Task Force were dispatched to the corner around 6 p.m., after someone spotted the package on the sidewalk in front of two homes, he said.

City police blocked off streets and evacuated residents from both homes and a dozen students from the Tiferes Rav Zvi Aryeh Zemel School on Temple Place, Maer said.

The bomb squad X-rayed the cooler and then disarmed it, Maer said.

The incident was still under investigation Tuesday.

Passaic County Sheriff Richard Berdnik, who was at the scene, called the incident “textbook example of inter-agency cooperation.”

“The quick action of the Passaic Police Department assured that the device was secured, individuals were evacuated and the Sheriff’s Department bomb squad was notified and immediately deployed,” Berdnik said.

E-mail: bautista@northjersey.com

PASSAIC — Residents and students were evacuated Tuesday night while a bomb squad from the Passaic County Sheriff’s Department disarmed a “suspicious” package left near the corner of Temple Place and Harding Court, a sheriff’s spokesman said.

There were no injuries.

The package — a cooler with wires protruding — turned out to be “non-explosive,” said Bill Maer, a sheriff’s department spokesman. The cooler also contained batteries.

“There was a power source in the device,” Maer said.

City police and firefighters, the bomb squad, and the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Joint Terrorism Task Force were dispatched to the corner around 6 p.m., after someone spotted the package on the sidewalk in front of two homes, he said.

City police blocked off streets and evacuated residents from both homes and a dozen students from the Tiferes Rav Zvi Aryeh Zemel School on Temple Place, Maer said.

The bomb squad X-rayed the cooler and then disarmed it, Maer said.

The incident was still under investigation Tuesday.

Passaic County Sheriff Richard Berdnik, who was at the scene, called the incident “textbook example of inter-agency cooperation.”

“The quick action of the Passaic Police Department assured that the device was secured, individuals were evacuated and the Sheriff’s Department bomb squad was notified and immediately deployed,” Berdnik said.

E-mail: bautista@northjersey.com