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Empty briefcase sparks bomb scare on downtown Fort Worth street

Streets were closed and workers stood at their windows Thursday afternoon near the First Christian Church in downtown Fort Worth as police and fire officials investigated an unattended briefcase left at a bus stop on Sixth Street.

In the end, it was a false alarm.

The brief case was rendered clear around 1:30 p.m. by the bomb squad, said Bobby Tatum, battalion chief over the arson and bomb squad.

Police blocked off streets for more than a half hour after the discovery of the case on the sidewalk beneath the lone sign marking a bus stop for The T. Officers directed pedestrians away from the area.

Lt. Kent Worley, with the Fort Worth Fire Department, said an explosive detecting K-9 was brought in that didn’t detect any explosives, so an X-ray of the brief case was taken, but nothing conclusive was shown. From there, Worley said they attempted to use the department’s bomb robot to hit the case with a disruptor force that would open it. Worley said after positioning the robot, it was deemed unsafe to exert the force because nearby buildings had too many windows.

The department finally had a bomb technician outfitted in a protective suit manually open the case, finding nothing inside, Worley said, adding that no further investigation of the scare would take place.

Police at the scene said that no buildings were evacuated, but that nobody was allowed to leave exits on buildings with entrances in the section between Taylor and Houston Streets and Fifth and Seventh streets until the situation was resolved.