Decatur Police: Package at Daikin Plant Contained Marijuana
DECATUR, Ala (WHNT) -Decatur Police say the suspicious package found Thursday morning at the Daikin plant contained a large amount of marijuana. The FBI office in Birmingham says crews on the scene have determined the device at the Daikin plant is NOT dangerous. The train originated in Mexico.
Decatur Police have now reopened Highway 20 and say the situation is over.
Here is our blog, where we posted updates as the situation developed through the morning.
The investigation caused a major disruption, including the dismissal or evacuation of several schools in Decatur, Morgan County, Limestone County and Lawrence County. This was done as a precaution while police learned what they were dealing with.
There was heightened concern, because the package was on a railcar containing hydrogen flouride, a flammable gas.
Decatur Police, Decatur Fire, the Huntsville Bomb Squad and the FBI were all involved in the investigation at the Daikin plant. The Morgan County Sheriff’s Office, Morgan County EMA and Limestone County EMA were also a part of it.
Highway 20 near the Daikin plant was shut down for a time while the bomb squad moved in, but the road is open again.
Marine Police have also re-opened river traffic from Mallard Fox Industrial Park to the Highway 31 river bridge.
The Decatur Public Library closed due to the situation.
Wayne Farms says second shift WILL report as scheduled, since the package has been determined to not be dangerous.
WHNT News 19 spoke with Morgan County Sheriff Ana Franklin earlier Thursday, when she was inside the Daikin plant. She said a worker at the plant found the package connected to a railcar during a regular security check.
The following schools were dismissed or evacuated earlier Thursday:
Calhoun Community College
The Decatur campus of Calhoun and the Alabama Center for the Arts in downtown Decatur will RE-OPEN this afternoon, November 21, 2013, at 4:00 pm for scheduled evening classes.
Decatur City Schools
-Austin High School dismissing at 11:20 a.m.
-Decatur High School dismissing at 11:20 a.m.
-Julian Harris - dismissed at approximately 9:45 a.m.
-Leon Sheffield - dismissed at approximately 9:45 a.m.
-Benjamin Davis - dismissed at approximately 9:45 a.m.
-Woodmeade - dismissed at approximately 9:45 a.m.
-West Decatur - dismissed at approximately 9:45 a.m.
-All other Decatur Schools will have a liberal check-out policy.
Morgan County Schools
West Morgan High, Middle and Elementary – dismissed at 10:30 a.m. Any students who didn’t get picked up will be bused to the Danville High School gymnasium. Any students who were bused home, whose families weren’t there, were taken to Danville High School as well.
Lawrence County Schools
East Lawrence High, Middle and Elementary – dismissing immediately (10:40 a.m.) – parents have until 11 a.m. to pick up students. After that, students will be taken by bus to the Moulton Civic Center.
Limestone County Schools
-Blue Springs Elementary – not dismissing, evacuating students to Cedar Hill Elementary
-Clements and Tanner High Schools – not dismissing, but evacuating students to Ardmore High School
Hartselle City Schools
Hartselle City Schools is aware of and continues to closely monitor the situation in Decatur at the Daikin America plant. Hartselle Schools are not impacted by this evacuation at the present time. The school system has a representative at the Morgan County EMA and should any changes occur, we will notify schools and parents immediately. The system also has contingency plans in place for transportation should they become necessary.