Police investigate suspicious packages on Main Street East
Police closed an almost two-kilometre stretch of Main Street East for more than eight hours Friday while they investigated two suspicious packages found in Canada Post mailboxes.
The first package — located near Huxley Avenue — was called in around 11:30 a.m. and detonated around 5 p.m.
Police detonated the second package, found closer to Cameron Street, by 9 p.m.
Staff Sgt. Greg Jackson said he could not comment on the nature of the packages — both of which were located by a postal worker.
Starting around 11:30 a.m., police closed Main Street East from the Queenston Traffic Circle to Ottawa Street North, causing buses in the area to be rerouted.
By 7 p.m., the stretch from Kenilworth to Ottawa had re-opened, but the remaining dozen blocks remained closed at press time.
“It’s a busy thoroughfare — it’s not only residential, it’s also commercial — so the issue here was clearing the actual streets themselves and the side streets,” Jackson said.
Louise Rankin, owner of Rankin’s Grill at 1342 Main St. E., said she saw a “bomb robot” remove a package that looked like “two metal Thermoses wrapped in wire and electrical tape” from the mailbox near Huxley.
The detonation was “pretty quick,” she said. “It just sounded like a big firework.”
Restaurant employees were told to stay near the back of the building, Rankin said. She initially closed the patio and asked customers to leave for their own safe- ty but reopened later in the day.
“It’s pretty stressful because not only have I not had any business all day, but there’s been the worry of my building blowing up,” she said.
The situation also put a damper on business for The EndZone Bar and Grill, owner Greg Koropatnicki said.
He said his establishment was not evacuated, which he was happy about given it was a Friday and he had a couple of retirement parties coming in.
“It’s kind of freaky, but we believe in the police,” he said.
A police explosive disposal unit technician investigates a package Friday.