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Suspicious package forces evacuation of several buildings at YPG
A suspicious package forced the evacuation of several buildings at Yuma Proving Ground and prevented hundreds of employees from getting to work on time Monday before the item was deemed harmless.
An employee who was arriving to the post at about 5 a.m. saw a 4-foot-long cylindrical cardboard object lying on the sidewalk outside a building at the test center headquarters and called base police, according to YPG spokesman Chuck Wullenjohn.
“It was a fairly good-sized tube,” Wullenjohn said. “It looked like a mailing tube you would use to mail a poster or map.”
Base police responded to the scene and evacuated the immediate area and closed down the main gate. They also contacted Marine Corps Air Station Yuma for assistance from the Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit.
EOD Marines sent in a robot and used its mechanical arms to remove a plastic cap from one end of the cardboard tube. Once that was done they used the robot's video camera to determine that the content of the tube was not dangerous.
“It was a rolled-up poster,” Wullenjohn said.
YPG employees arriving to work were not allowed on base and were forced to park their vehicles along both sides of Imperial Dam Road until the incident was over.
Wullenjohn explained that employees had been loading a vehicle Sunday in preparation for a trade show in San Diego. He said the tube probably got left behind or was accidently dropped.
“It sat there overnight,” Wullenjohn said.
The all-clear was given at about 8 a.m. and employees were allowed to enter the base.
James Gilbert can be reached at email@example.com or 539-6854. Find him on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/YSJamesGilbert or on Twitter at @YSJamesGilbert.