Bomb Scare Shuts Down Hospital & Highway

     TOWN AND COUNTRY, Mo. (CN) — A bomb scare put one of St. Louis’ biggest hospitals on lock down and shut down Interstate 270 for several hours Monday afternoon.
     A man in his fifties came by ambulance to Mercy Hospital in west St. Louis County at 10:30 a.m. for a mental health issue. Authorities said the man made no threats.
     A hospital worker found a cell phone attached to wires while going through one of two bags the man brought in and immediately took it out to the hospital’s helicopter pad, which is adjacent to I-270.
     The St. Louis Regional Bomb and Arson Unit used a robot to inspect the package. Police told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that they chose to “disrupt” the bag with the cell phone as a precaution. Police did not say how they disrupted the bag, but a loud boom was heard by reporters.
     Police said the bag that was disrupted did not contain an explosive device. The other bag contained clothes and tennis balls.
     Police said the patient is cooperating with the investigation.
     I-270 was closed for nearly three hours, snarling traffic for miles on each side of the hospital.
     Some patients were moved to other rooms as a precaution. Emergency patients were diverted to other hospitals during the incident.

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