TOPSHAM POLICE blocked off access to Midway Drive after a suspicious bag was found at the base of a tree along Midway Drive near The Home Depot in Topsham.

TOPSHAM POLICE blocked off access to Midway Drive after a suspicious bag was found at the base of a tree along Midway Drive near The Home Depot in Topsham.

TOPSHAM

Midway Drive at the Topsham Fair Mall was closed for about three hours on Wednesday morning while state police investigated — and subsequently blew up — a suspicious bag containing electronics and personal items.

Police were alerted to the bag just before 8:30 a.m. by a landscaper working near The Home Depot, according to Topsham Police Chief Christopher Lewis.

Lewis said the landscaper has military experience and was concerned enough to call police.

The landscaper led police to the gym bag, which had wires protruding from it. A “beeping sound” was also emanating from the bag, according to a police press release.

Fearing a potential improvised explosive device near a highly traveled intersection, state police were notified, and their Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit, as well as the state fire marshal’s office, arrived at the scene.

Topsham police and firefighters closed off access points to Midway Drive and portions of Topsham Fair Mall at around 10:30 a.m. The Home Depot was also closed briefly.

Bomb technicians attempted to use a robot to examine the bag, but experienced technical problems.

Just before 11 a.m. a charge was used to detonate the bag “for safety purposes,” according to the release.

After the detonation, The Home Depot reopened, with Midway Drive reopening shortly after. State police finished collecting evidence and cleared the scene.

A couple of cameras, cellphones, wires and other items were found in the debris. There was also some clothing, baseball caps and a notebook.

Lewis said there were no actual explosives in the bag.

Lewis said an out-of-state driver’s license was found in the debris and that state police were working to contact the owner.

[email protected]timesrecord.com


Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: