- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A suspicious package that closed Branch Avenue in Clinton, Md., for three hours Tuesday morning was harmless but intentionally built as a hoax device, Prince George’s County fire officials said.

Fire department spokesman Mark Brady said the appearance of the device “warranted the dispatch of the bomb squad.”

The package was discovered by a road crew around 9 a.m. in a median strip directly over Coventry Way. Police shut down Branch Avenue from Allentown Road to Woodyard Road.

Around 11 a.m. a Prince George’s County bomb technician remote-detonated the package, at which point experts determined that the package was “designed to have the appearance of an explosive device.”

“As far as we know, there were no notes, no threats,” Mr. Brady said.

The county investigates six to 10 instances of suspicious packages each month, Mr. Brady said, but many times they turn out to be nothing.

The device has been sent to a lab for further study.