Bomb fears shut uptown blocks for hours

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police closed several uptown blocks for several hours Thursday after two suspicious packages were found at the corner of East Sixth and College streets.

At least two nearby buildings – the Main Library and Fuel Pizza – were evacuated for a short time because police feared the packages might be bombs.

One item turned out to be an empty energy drink container, police Officer Robert Fey said.

The other – a 4-inch-long steel pipe with caps on both ends – was more of a mystery. The police bomb squad was unable to open it at the scene and had to take it to the Police Training Academy on Shopton Road. Police then used an explosive charge to blow up the pipe, which turned out to be empty.

Police Sgt. John Tegeler said the package was found near the base of a tree about 10:30 a.m.. Police used a remote-controlled robot to survey the area and then to manipulate the two devices.

Police said they would review surveillance camera recordings of the area that may have evidence of somebody planting the items. Staff writer Steve Lyttle contributed.