The FBI is investigating a suspicious package found at a Department of Veterans Affairs facility in Florida that tied up traffic for four hours Wednesday afternoon.
No one was hurt at the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System campus near St. Petersburg, Florida, and all traffic resumed flowing shortly after 5 p.m., Selina Meiners, a VA spokeswoman, told Military Times.
The Tampa Police Department’s bomb squad, one of several units responding to the scene, was called in to deal with the package.
“The package in question was disassembled and no longer a threat,” said Meiners early Wednesday evening.
TPD spokesman Steve Hegarty said the package was then turned over to the FBI.
“We always respond to any suspicious devices, especially this being the VA,” said Tampa FBI field office spokeswoman Andrea Aprea.
Officials at the VA, TPD and FBI all declined to offer specifics about the package that was found near the east entrance of the sprawling campus. It is one of the few VA facilities in the nation that has a hospital, a claims office and a national cemetery.
It was located near the Veterans Benefits Administration’s regional office on the campus, said Meiners. That office is one of the busiest VA claims processing centers in the nation.
The discovery of the package did not force any evacuations or interfere with any operations on the campus. But authorities initially closed off traffic east and westbound in the facility.
Westbound traffic resumed first and by shortly after 5 p.m., eastbound traffic resumed as well.
The investigation is ongoing, FBI spokeswoman Aprea said Thursday morning.
Howard Altman is an award-winning editor and reporter who was previously the military reporter for the Tampa Bay Times and before that the Tampa Tribune, where he covered USCENTCOM, USSOCOM and SOF writ large among many other topics.