KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A man seen on video leaving items in a trash can sparked concerns about a bomb outside a Knoxville abortion clinic on Monday.
Knoxville Police shut down an area near the University of Tennessee campus around the Knoxville Center for Reproductive Health as they investigated a suspicious package. After several hours, bomb squad personnel cleared the package, which they say did not contain a dangerous or explosive device.
A police spokesman said officers were called to the scene at 8:11 a.m. after management notified them of suspicious activity captured on surveillance video.
“In a review of surveillance video, an unknown man was seen dropping off a trashcan behind the clinic, placing items from his personal belongings in the trash can and then leaving the scene,” said a spokesman for Knoxville Police.
During the investigation, the area around Clinch Avenue and 16th was closed to cars and pedestrians as a precaution.
Explosive Ordnance Disposal or EOD personnel were called to the scene to determine if there was a dangerous device left behind the building.
They conducted x-rays and deployed a robot to determine if a dangerous or explosive device was left in the trash can. What was found was not released, but police said it was not a dangerous device.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) have also responded to the scene.
No evacuation orders have been issued. A Knoxville Police Department tweet said the road closure was made out of an abundance of caution. Nearby residences have been notified of police activity.
The Knoxville Center for Reproductive Health is an independent nonprofit that provides legal abortions, contraceptive information, gynecological and medical care and other services. The center will be closed for the remainder of Monday.