Bomb threat causes evacuation of downtown Chattanooga

Bomb threat causes evacuation of downtown Chattanooga

August 14th, 2014 by Shelly Bradbury in Local Regional News

Members of the Chattanooga Police Department's bomb squad enter the the Republic Center building on Aug. 13, 2014, in response to a bomb threat in Chattanooga.

Photo by Associated Press/Times Free Press.

Chattanooga police closed a downtown block and evacuated the Republic Centre for about two hours Wednesday after an unknown person called in a bomb threat around 2:20 p.m.

The caller said there were multiple explosives in the center and the building's management decided to treat the call as a credible threat. The building was evacuated.

"We evacuated the building and blocked off the intersection, which is a routine response to this kind of threat," said Assistant Chief Eric Tucker.

Displaced office workers gathered on street corners to wait while the bomb squad searched the building. By 4 p.m., officers had cleared the building and people were allowed back inside.

Property manager Ronnie Williams, senior vice president at Jim Berry Co., said bomb threats are very unusual at the Republic Centre but are taken seriously.

"We can't risk our tenants being harmed or injured," he said. "I've been the property manager for 24 years and I've never had a bomb threat. This is the first time."

Police did not have any suspects in the case late Wednesday afternoon.