Smoking battery pack closes stretch of downtown San Diego - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Smoking battery pack closes stretch of downtown San Diego

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A nylon bag found with smoke wafting out of it in front of the U.S. Grant Hotel prompted authorities Tuesday to close a stretch of Broadway and evacuate nearby buildings while a bomb squad disposed of the object, which turned out to be a large battery pack.

San Diego police got a report about the discovery of the suspicious package -- initially described as resembling a lunchbox -- alongside the downtown thoroughfare about 1:15 p.m., SDPD Detective Gary Hassen said.

Officers shut down several blocks of Broadway, evacuated some nearby businesses and called in an explosive-ordnance team to investigate.

The bomb squad used a remote-controlled device equipped with a camera to look over the object, then decided to blast it apart with a high-pressure water gun on the robot, said Maurice Luque, a spokesman for the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.

A short time later, police reopened traffic lanes on Broadway.

Authorities determined that the suspicious-looking thing had been a lost or discarded power pack for an electric wheelchair. The device, which had wires attached to it, apparently had been emitting smoke due to overheating or some other type of malfunction.

It was unclear who left the object on the roadside, Luque said.

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