- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 9, 2003

WASHINGTON, March 9 (UPI) — The Secret Service sealed off streets near the White House for several hours on Sunday afternoon and evening while checking an orange 55-gallon drum roughly two blocks from the White House.

The drum was declared safe at about 8:40 p.m. EST, according to Secret Service spokesman Brian Marr. He said the drum's contents had been identified as some type of stone, possibly granite.

A special camera was used to peer inside the barrel, Marr said. Details on the hand-carried camera, which is somewhat larger than a briefcase, were not available.

A Secret Service roving patrol noticed the barrel at the corner of Vermont and H Street, N.W. The drum, located less than a block from United Press headquarters, had been at that corner for a minimum of four months.

(UPI Photos WAP2003030901-5 are available.)

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