St. Lawrence County Human Services Building evacuated after unclaimed backpack discovered; bomb squad on the way
Wednesday, April 17, 2013 - 11:51 am

updated 12:10 p.m.

CANTON – A state police bomb squad is reportedly on its way to Canton from Ray Brook to investigate an abandoned backpack in the St. Lawrence County Human Services Building.

The county building, on State Rt. 310, has been evacuated and all employees have been sent home, according to one of those employees.

A statement from the county said that a suspicious bag was found on a shelf at the DMV office.

The backpack reportedly contains a soft drink can wrapped in foil.

The bomb blasts at the Boston Marathon Monday have raised wariness among Americans to suspicious activity, including the often-cited precaution of reporting apparently abandoned packages and backpacks, and authorities are likely responding with an abundance of caution.

A statement from the county said:

“At approximately 10:15 a.m., a call was received from the St. Lawrence County DMV Office notifying us that a suspicious looking bag was sitting on a shelf in that office. Staff called the Canton PD who arrived on the scene and took control of the incident.

“All employees and visitors to the building were evacuated and the bomb squad was called to the scene. They were located in Lake Placid and it was anticipated that they would arrive in about 1.5 to 2 hours.

“It was decided to send all employees who had keys home and to bus everyone else to the Court House where they could make arrangements to be picked up. NYSARC supplied a bus to transport people and most have now made arrangements to return home.

“The Human Services Center on State Highway 310, Canton, has been closed for the day and all appointments at that building are canceled.”

Many employees evacuated so quickly that they left personal items behind that cannot yet retrieve.

The county says any appointments scheduled for the departments listed below will be cancelled.

Public Health

Office for the Aging

DMV

One Stop Career Center

Community Services

Jefferson County Children’s Home

Veteran’s Office

Youth Bureau

DSS Employment Unit

DSS Adoption Unit.