Authorities: Suspicious package that cleared Atlanta federal building is not a threat

ATLANTA (AP) — A bomb scare scattered hundreds of workers Tuesday from a downtown federal building that houses Internal Revenue Service offices, but authorities later determined the suspicious package that caused the evacuation was harmless.

A fire alarm went off, nearby streets were closed and a daycare in the Peachtree Summit Federal Building was emptied after mailroom workers X-raying packages saw one they thought was suspicious. But authorities later determined the package contained a glass decorative object, said Atlanta Police Officer Otis Redmond.

Workers who spent more than an hour on nearby sidewalks were allowed Tuesday afternoon to go back into the 31-story building that sits at a busy intersection and overlooks the interstate. Daycare workers were seen rolling cribs full of small children back into the building.

"It was scary. We were just doing our daily routine when we saw people start evacuating, and the fire alarm went off. They told us it was a bomb threat" said Marie Manley, 38, a management analyst for the U.S. Social Security Administration.

The scare sent workers streaming onto the sidewalks and brought fire trucks and police cars to the building. Members of a bomb squad put on their bulky suits to investigate while evacuated workers milled around.

The building that houses several federal agencies also sits adjacent to a station of the Atlanta underground transit system, as well as a hospital.

It is routine to X-ray packages that come into the mailroom.