From Post staff reports
Commuter rail service was stopped from Nashville to Lebanon, and homes near the Music City Star station on Baddour Parkway were evacuated yesterday when a city sanitation worker discovered a “suspicious box” that authorities said look as if it had been placed at the bottom of a trash container.
Lebanon Police confirmed the sanitation worker’s discovery and shortly before 2 p.m. on Tuesday blocked off entrances into the commuter station, ordered the evacuation of homes along Hill Street and nearby North Greenwood and called for emergency assistance from the Tennessee Highway Patrol’s bomb squad.
Lebanon Commissioner of Safety Billy Weeks said the package appeared to be a card board box. He said it was white and wrapped in cellophane. He said the box did not look as if it had been tossed in the trash can at the rail station but instead had been place there.
The package turned out to be a “home interior” item, said Lebanon Police Chief Scott Bowen. He said the package contained a wooden stool and looked to be wrapped so that the item would not be scratched in transit. He said he didn’t know why it was placed in the trash container.
Weeks and other officers described the package as “suspicious.”
One state officer said the package was “one of the most suspicious” that his unit had been called to investigate.
Agents said after determining the contents of the package that they believed it was not placed in the trash container so as to be a threat or be considered a hoax.
After more than three hours, the package, estimated to be about 12 inches square and 5 inches deep and still situated inside the container’s orange plastic liner, was lifted from the container by a mechanical robot and taken some 150 yards to an area deemed safe where it was destroyed.
Commuter rail service to and from Nashville was stopped from the Lebanon rail station during the incident. The 4:20 p.m. Music City Star train out of Nashville was canceled. Rail service resumed with the 5:05 p.m. and 5:45 p.m. departing trains from Nashville.
Besides the state’s bomb squad, the event attracted Homeland Security, the FBI, Wilson County Emergency Management, the Tennessee Highway Patrol and other local law enforcement officers.