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Oklahoma Capitol evacuation ended; unattended briefcase found harmless

The upper floors of the Oklahoma Capitol were evacuated for about 30 minutes today. The Oklahoma Highway Patrol took the action because of an unattended briefcase discovered in a rest room.
BY MICHAEL MCNUTT Modified: August 19, 2010 at 5:36 pm •  Published: August 19, 2010

State troopers evacuated the upper floors of the state Capitol today after finding an unattended briefcase.

The briefcase was found to be harmless and people were allowed to return.

A person attending a meeting at the Capitol inadvertently left it in a fourth-floor rest room.

Oklahoma Highway Patrol Capt. Pete Norwood said it is standard procedure to evacuate the Capitol when an unattended item is discovered. The third, fourth and fifth floors were evacuated after the briefcase was spotted about 4:15 p.m.

The patrol's bomb squad was called in to inspect the briefcase. It was determined the item was safe about 5 p.m.

Everyone entering the Capitol is required to go through X-ray machines designed to screen for weapons and explosives.

"There's no way I think a device could get in here with our X-rays, but at the same time we've just got to take precautions," Norwood said.


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