Police blow up suspicious package in Salt Lake City

Thursday, February 7th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) _ Police blew up a suspicious package found next to a downtown parking garage Thursday, the day before the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics.

Construction workers spotted the plastic grocery bag with what appeared to be wrapped-up highway flares inside, police Lt. Terry Begay said.

``It is a device. We don't know if it's explosive,'' Begay said.

The head of Olympic security said the package was deliberately placed next to a support beam.

The site is about three blocks from the closest Olympic venue, the main media center. Police evacuated two nearby buildings.

Within minutes, military helicopters were hovering over the area, across the street from a park where Olympic celebrations will be held. The FBI and agents from the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms were on the scene.

Videotape from a security camera on a nearby building will be checked for clues, Begay said.