• Officials: Briefcase detonated in Oakland ‘unfortunate accident'


    PITTSBURGH - The bomb squad was called to Pittsburgh’s Oakland neighborhood Friday afternoon after a suitcase was found chained to the pole of a railing.

    The suitcase was discovered around 3 p.m. in the area of McKee Place and Fifth Avenue.


    Several roads were closed while crews worked to clear the scene.

    Around 3:30 p.m., the bomb squad detonated the suitcase. A few minutes later all roads reopened to traffic.

    Joe Bettinger, a pharmacist, said police warned of what was going on and said to stay clear of windows.

    “My wife called, she saw it on the news,” said Bettinger. “She's crying on the phone, ‘Are you going to be OK?’ I said, ‘I'm fine, it's gone.’”

    Liz Wendel, a graduate student at the University of Pittsburgh, sent Channel 11 News incredible raw video of the suitcase being detonated from Biomedical Science Tower 3. CLICK HERE to watch!

    Police said the contents of the suitcase were determined not to have been a threat.

    According to the University of Pittsburgh’s spokesperson, Joe Miksch, the owner of the suitcase was going to the doctor’s office and chained his briefcase to the pole near the office. 

    Miksch said it was an "unfortunate accident."

    University of Pittsburgh Police said there was no criminal act and no charges are to be filed.

    Channel 11’s sister station FOX25 News in Boston dealt with a similar situation Friday afternoon, as well.

    A man was arrested after allegedly leaving a suspicious suitcase on Atlantic Avenue. 


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