TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Construction workers building an apartment complex near Florida State University in Tallahassee may have uncovered a World War II-era bomb at the site.
The Tallahassee Police Department's bomb team responded to the scene in an area of student apartments Wednesday and "determined it could be an actual bomb," a department release said.
Police cordoned off area streets and apartment complexes in the area were evacuated.
Police said they asked officials from Eglin Air Force Base, three hours to the west, to send a squad to inspect the device. Police spokesman David Northway said it could take several hours to put a team together, gather equipment, drive to Florida’s capital city and determine whether it was a dud or a real threat.
“We’re in a holding pattern,” he said.
An official for North American Properties, which recently purchased the plot, said the bomb fell out of the roots of a tree as workers pulled it from the ground and it was removed using a backhoe.
“We take the safety of our workers and contractors very seriously,” said Shawn McIntyre, NAP Florida partner. “Our team followed proper procedure upon recognizing the potential hazard. Thanks to their actions, we will be able to take every precaution to ensure the area is clear of any threat before moving forward.”
McIntyre has hired experts to canvass the area to ensure no similar devices exist.
The company is in the process of building a five-story student apartment complex on the parcel.
Contributing: The Associated Press