Authorities found this package of marijuana on a railcar that was stopped at Daikin America's Decatur facility. Authorities initially thought it was a bomb, causing a massive evacuation. | Courtesy of the Decatur Police Department
Authorities found this package of marijuana on a railcar that was stopped at Daikin America's Decatur facility. Authorities initially thought it was a bomb, causing a massive evacuation. | Courtesy of the Decatur Police Department

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Suspicious package was marijuana, not bomb

Published 10:48am Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Birmingham office of the FBI has said a suspicious package found on a railcar at Daikin’s Decatur facility is not explosive but actually contained marijuana.

The FBI tweeted the information just moments ago.

Hartselle and Morgan County were monitoring a situation after a suspicious device was found attached to a rail car at the Daikin facility on Alabama 20 in Decatur. The railcar contains hazardous material.

According to an email from Decatur Police Public Information John Crouch, the department took the threat seriously because the rail car is contained hydrogen fluoride.

Alabama 20 was closed from Alabama 67 to the Lawrence County line. The U.S. Coast Guard also closed the Tennessee River from Mallard Fox Industrial Park to the U.S. 31 bridge.

Hartselle Police Public Information Officer Lt. Justin Barley said they were contacted by the Morgan County Emergency Management Agency about the incident, but no evacuations have been ordered at this time.

“We are on standby at this time,” Barley said earlier in the day.

Morgan County Schools dismissed school as a precaution West Morgan Elementary, West Morgan Middle and West Morgan High School at 10:30.  Any students remaining at school at 10:45 will be evacuated to Danville High School children can be checked out at the gymnasium.  Please take necessary actions to insure the safety of your children.

The following Decatur schools were being dismissed: Julian Harris, Leon Sheffield, Benjamin Davis, Woodmeade and West Decatur elementary schools and . All other Decatur Schools will have a liberal check-out policy.

Decatur Police, Decatur Fire, Huntsville Bomb Squad and the FBI are on scene.

Hartselle City Schools issued the following statement:

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.

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