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Bomb squad investigates suspicious vehicle outside federal building in downtown Cleveland

Published: Dec. 2, 2021 at 10:47 AM EST
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - A bomb squad was called to a federal building in Downtown Cleveland on Thursday after reports of a suspicious van in the area.

Cleveland Police and Homeland Security officials were called to the Anthony J. Celebrezze Federal Building around 10 a.m.

A section of E. 6th Street between Lakeside Avenue and St. Clair Avenue NE was blocked off while officers investigated the vehicle.

19 News crews captured the moment occupants were evacuated from the building, along with bomb sniffing dogs sniffing dogs walking up and down Lakeside Avenue, and a robotic camera roaming around the building.

“I thought it was going to be a parade or something,” said Archie Blaine, who watched the scene unfold from inside his hot dog cart across the street from the federal building. “I was actually worried about the people who were over there, like if anyone was trapped in there.”

Thankfully, that wasn’t the case. Though, details surrounding the van are still unknown Thursday evening, including if anyone was taken in for questioning.

“They did a great job securing the area and everything like that,” said Blaine.

Benjamin Collier agree and is also grateful the situation didn’t take a sever turn.

“I think the necessary precautions were definitely taken care out,” Collier told 19 News.

The local artist was walking past the federal building to meet a friend downtown when he spotted the sea of officers surrounding the building.

“I’m grateful it was handled the way it was. It could have been a lot worse,” he said.

Shortly after noon, law enforcement officials began removing the caution tape from the scene and employees were allowed back inside the building, while the portion of E. 6th St. that was blocked was reopened.

Cleveland police did tell 19 News, though, that Homeland Security officials have taken over investigating the situation.

The Anthony J. Celebrezze Federal Building is home to the Cleveland regional offices of the Internal Revenue Service and Veterans Affairs.

This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

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