Suspicious packages at Mercy Hospital shut down I-270

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) - Both directions of I-270 were shut down for three hours after suspicious packages were discovered at Mercy Hospital at around 11am. The interstate was shutdown between Ladue Road and I-64 and drivers were forced to exit or wait.

Mercy Hospital tweets, "Two potentially explosive devices found on Mercy campus. Both away from building; no patients or co-workers are in harm’s way at this time.  Out of abundance of caution, and to ensure the safety of our patients & co-workers, our ER is diverting patients to other facilities."

Suspicious Package on sidewalk

Suspicious Package on sidewalk

Two suspicious packages were discovered on the hospital's campus.   An Emergency Room technician discovered a potentially dangerous items on an incoming patient's property. The employee walked the item and duffle bag outside to the sidewalk and the "item" to the helicopter landing pad.  He saw what appeared to be cellphones and wires.

Police say that person who brought the items to the campus did not threaten anyone at the hospital.  The man in his 50's was at the hospital for a mental health evaluation.  The duffel bag and the "item" wrapped in cloth are his property.  Investigators are not sure why he brought the items to the hospital.  He is cooperating with law enforcement.

Suspicious item on helipad

Suspicious item on helipad

The St. Louis County Bomb and Arson unit deployed a robot and investigators in bomb suits to investigate the suspicious packages.  They detonated the item on the helicopter landing pad.  The duffel bag was then x-rayed and examined by the bomb robot.

A bomb squad investigator eventually opened up the bag.  He pulled several pieces of clothing and tennis balls from the duffel bag.  The "device" the employee thought was a cell phone with wires sticking out was not explosive.

Police say they shut down the highway as a precaution.  The proximity to the highway was within their 300 feet. If there was an explosive device then drivers would have been affected.

Authorities cleared and declared the area safe by 2:30 pm.

The Missouri Highway Patrol has declined to comment on the situation.  Missouri Governor Jay Nixon says he has been briefed on the situation:

Police say it is too soon to know if the man who brought the items to the hospital will be charged.  Authorities are investigating the man and his home.  They want to know why he brought the potentially dangerous items to the hospital.  They are not sure what his intent was at this time.

Joe Millitzer June 13, 20162:22 pm

Joe Millitzer June 13, 20162:21 pm

Police say that person who brought the items to the campus did not threaten anyone at the hospital.  The man in his 50’s was at the hospital for a mental health evaluation. 

Joe Millitzer June 13, 20162:05 pm

Bomb squad investigator pulls clothing from the suspicious package on the sidewalk

Joe Millitzer June 13, 20162:03 pm

I-270 should be opening momentarily

Joe Millitzer June 13, 20161:55 pm

Pregnant woman, in labor, stuck in traffic, trying to get to Mercy Hosp, shut down for #BombScare

Joe Millitzer June 13, 20161:54 pm

Our reporter has been moved 200 yards away from the detonation area

Joe Millitzer June 13, 20161:54 pm

Watch LIVE video from the newscast here: http://fox2now.com/live-streaming/

Joe Millitzer June 13, 20161:48 pm

Watch LIVE Video on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FOX2Now/videos/10154287265794228/

Joe Millitzer June 13, 20161:47 pm

Bomb robot at 2nd package

Joe Millitzer June 13, 20161:43 pm

St. Louis Bomb Squad X-rays duffel bag

Joe Millitzer June 13, 20161:35 pm

Joe Millitzer June 13, 20161:33 pm

The St. Louis County Bomb Squad has detonated one of the packages

Joe Millitzer June 13, 20161:20 pm

SkyFOX helicopter headed back to Mercy Hospital. Bomb squad to detonate packages. LIVE video: http://fox2now.com/traffic/bommarito-skyfox-helicopter/

Joe Millitzer June 13, 20161:06 pm

The highway has been shut down for about two hours. Traffic is backed up in the area. Avoid I-270 between Ladue and I-64.

Joe Millitzer June 13, 201612:55 pm

Possible image of 2nd suspicious package on Mercy Hospital helipad

Joe Millitzer June 13, 201612:42 pm

Joe Millitzer June 13, 201612:40 pm

People are being allowed to leave the hospital. The campus is not on lockdown. But the emergency room is closed.

Joe Millitzer June 13, 201612:40 pm

Two suspicious packages were discovered on the hospital’s campus. Employees found one on the helipad, the other was discovered on the sidewalk.

Joe Millitzer June 13, 201612:39 pm

Northbound I-270 traffic is backed up all the way to Manchester road, southbound traffic is backed up to Page.

Joe Millitzer June 13, 201612:35 pm

Image of the suspicious package discovered on the sidewalk:

Joe Millitzer June 13, 201612:34 pm

Watch LIVE video from the helicopter here:  http://fox2now.com/traffic/bommarito-skyfox-helicopter/

Joe Millitzer June 13, 201612:25 pm

Joe Millitzer June 13, 201612:24 pm

Bomb robot spotted on Mercy campus

Joe Millitzer June 13, 201612:23 pm
No vehicles travelling on I-270. 

Joe Millitzer June 13, 201612:17 pm

Joe Millitzer June 13, 201612:13 pm

Joe Millitzer June 13, 201612:09 pm

Images from the scene at Mercy Hospital:

Joe Millitzer June 13, 201612:06 pm

LIVE Video from the scene here: http://fox2now.com/on-air/live-stream-sc/

Joe Millitzer June 13, 201611:53 am

Joe Millitzer June 13, 201611:52 am

Joe Millitzer June 13, 201611:51 am

Joe Millitzer June 13, 201611:49 am

Mercy Hospital is expected to release a statement about the suspicious package soon.