A forgotten firework resembling a grenade was removed from Wabash Avenue about 10 a.m. Monday to end a two-hour shutdown between Sixth and Seventh streets.
Police Chief Shawn Keen said the item on the street – which resembled a green-colored grenade – appeared to be a toy or firework when observed through binoculars. It was in the middle of the center turn lane.
“It is in the shape of a grenade, so I can see why someone called it in,” Keen said while waiting at the scene for a bomb disposal technician from the Indiana State Police to respond from Indianapolis.
“We used some binoculars,” Keen said. “It is in the shape of a grenade, so whether or not it’s a toy or a firework we don’t know. But based on our procedures and directives, we have to assume that it’s real.”
A passerby reported an object lying in the street about 7:45 a.m., prompting the street closure as a precaution. Police and city firefighters responded to the area. Firefighters were released from the area about 9 a.m.
Keen said a person called police during the shutdown to report the item was probably left by people setting off smoke bombs and fireworks downtown the night before.
The ISP technician arrived at the scene about 10 a.m., observed the object, then collected it in a metal box for disposal.
No through traffic was allowed through the area, although one westbound motorist in a small auto did drive around police cars blocking the road near Seventh Street. That motorist was stopped as he tried to drive past the object.
Keen said the road closure was appropriate for public safety until the object could be removed.
No evacuations were ordered, Keen said, but residents in the Center City Apartment building on the north side of Wabash were advised to exit the building through its north side.
The drive-thru lanes of First Financial Bank on the south side of Wabash were also closed to traffic during the incident. No pedestrian traffic was allowed through the area.
Keen said no tickets would be issued.
Lisa Trigg can be reached at 812-231-4254 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at TribStarLisa.