Officials determine no explosives in suspicious package

Package found in Mapleville Road driveway turned over to hazardous material team

May 24, 2012

SMITHSBURG — After about 2 1/2 hours of careful inspection, rescue officials Wednesday night determined that a suspicious package found at a driveway on Mapleville Road contained some type of blue liquid inside it, a fire official said.

“Exactly what it is, I don’t know,” said Deputy State Fire Marshal Ed Ernst as authorities were leaving the scene about 10:30 p.m.

The package was on the driveway at about 5 to 10 feet from the road, said Terry Stouffer, chief of Mt. Aetna Vol. Fire Co.

Stouffer said the package was black, about 1-foot wide and about 1-foot deep, with the word “contaminants” written on it.

Authorities were able to rule out any explosives in the package, which was similar to a Rubbermaid container, Ernst said.

After it was determined there were no explosives in it, it was turned over to a hazardous material team for disposal, Ernst said.


At about 9:30 p.m., a bomb squad from the Maryland State Fire Marshal’s Office that responded to the scene used a robot to X-ray the package, Stouffer said.

Media representatives were not allowed near the scene. Stouffer said that firefighters were also moved a minimum of 300 feet away from it.

Numerous rescue vehicles were seen driving up Mapleville Road past a roadblock to get to the scene.
Mapleville Road was closed at Chewsville Road.

The incident was reported at 7:08 p.m. at 21217 Mapleville Road.

— Dave McMillion

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