DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) – Here are the updates we posted earlier Thursday as information came in about a suspicious package found on a railcar near the Daikin plant in Decatur. The package turned out to be marijuana.
The situation shut down several schools in Decatur, Morgan, Limestone and Lawrence counties, and traffic on Highay 20 was also affected as law enforcement teams investigated the situation.
Morgan County EMA to hold update at 11:30 a.m. WHNT News 19 will be there and we’ll post updates shortly.
Also, new school dismissals: Austin and Decatur High Schools will dismiss at 11:20 a.m. Many more details about school dismissals/evacuations in this story: http://whnt.com/2013/11/21/breaking-5-decatur-schools-being-dismissed-suspicious-device-found-near-daikin-plant/
Decatur Police Lt. John Crouch is at the news conference speaking. He is describing how different agencies responded to the scene.
He says bomb squad will move in next to X-ray the package and determine if it’s explosive. At that point, they’ll decide what to do next.
Lt. Crouch said this type of situation is what various departments train for, to be prepared for.
Decatur Mayor Don Kyle is speaking now, assuring people the various agencies are using an abundance of caution to protect the situation.
The State Marine Police have been notified about the situation. We understand river traffic has been asked to stay away from the Daikin plant area, as a precaution.
Decatur Police Lt. John Crouch said the rail car the package is attached to contains hydrogen flouride, which is a hazardous material. Police still aren’t certain what the package contains, so that’s why they are exercising precaution.
The news conference is over – we’ll post additional details shortly.
Photo by Nick Banaszak, at the barricades near the Daikin plant in Decatur.
Police say the rail car contains Hydrogen Fluoride. Here are some facts about the substance from the Centers for Disease Control:
Hydrogen fluoride is a chemical compound that contains fluorine.
It can exist as a colorless gas or as a fuming liquid, or it can
be dissolved in water.
Hydrogen fluoride is used to make refrigerants, herbicides,
pharmaceuticals, high-octane gasoline, aluminum, plastics,
electrical components, and fluorescent light bulbs. Sixty percent
of the hydrogen fluoride used in manufacturing is for processes to
An update from Decatur Police: Highway 20 is now being closed between Hwy 67 and Woodall Rd. Bomb squad moving
From Decatur Police: Highway 20 now closed from hwy 67 to Lawrence Co. line. Coast Guard has closed
river traffic from Mallard Fox Industrial Park to the Highway 31 river
EMA says tornado sirens will sound if an emergency evacuation is needed.
The Decatur Public Library is now closing due to the situation at the Daikin Plant.
Wayne Farms in Decatur says there will be no second shift today.
FBI office in Birmingham says the device is NOT explosive.
Highway 20 is now back open.
FBI says the device is NOT dangerous.
Decatur Police will hold another news conference at 1pm. Again, the device has been determined to be non-dangerous.
Wayne Farms says that since the device is not dangerous, the second shift WILL report as normal.
Police say the package contained marijuana.
The train originated in Mexico.
Police say the package contained 2 kilos of marijuana.
Decatur Police say the situation is all clear.
Police say the package was about the size of a large phone book.
Tune into WHNT News 19 tonight at 5, 6, and 6:30 for the latest information on this suspicious package. WHNT is working to bring you multiple angles on how this situation affected Decatur today.
This is a picture of the marijuana, from Decatur Police.
Decatur Police say the package contained 2 kilos of marijuana.