I’m going to present the story in the way the information was revealed on local news. I’m in St. Louis.

Around noon, Interstate 270 was closed between Ladue Rd and Interstate 64 because of 2 suspicious packages at Mercy Hospital. Concern they may be explosive devices. (my coworkers and I are all “for fuck’s sake it’s someone’s luggage!)

2 packages, 1 is a duffel bag, are unattended. St. Louis County PD Bomb Squad (with robot!) is on the scene. 1 bag is on the helipad and the other is on the sidewalk. Mercy Hospital is not evacuating or on lockdown as the bags are considered a safe distance from the hospital. (WEIRD) ER patients are being rerouted to nearby hospitals though. Seeing as they aren’t even putting the hospital on lockdown, again we assume they have someone’s luggage. Shit, going to the hospital is stressful, someone probably set the bags down and forgot.

Around 1:15pm the first bag is preemptively detonated. They just couldn’t be sure what was in it. (presumably they also wanted to justify buying all that fancy schmancy bomb equipment) It’s the small bag, described as “cell-phoned size” that was left on the helipad. So yeah, we figure someone got their ipad or cell phone blown up.

Around 2pm it turns out that a man checked himself in for mental health observation (I know this is the wrong word, but I am drawing a blank) and a worker thought something in this bags was suspicious. Would not reveal what “suspicious” was.

And then a few minutes the robot gets the portable xray thing in to see the duffel bag. A bomb squad member goes over and unzips it, empties it out on the sidewalk. IN NEWS THAT SURPRISES NO ONE it’s clothing.

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Soon after the highway is reopened.

Then more information comes out. When the (described as non-threatening) patient checked himself in, the worker was concerned about the bags. So the worker walked outside with them, set the duffel on the sidewalk, and then stood on the helipad, HOLDING the second bag, and waited for an hour with it until the Bomb and Arson Unit showed up.

It turns out the “suspicious” item was 2 cellphones wired together. You know, like you would do if you were using 1 as backup memory because you’re going to be bored as fuck in the hospital for a few days. Or because the screen broke and you had a spare cable and an old phone to display it on.

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It was added around 3pm that while the police are unsure why the phones were wired together, they are positive it was not a bomb.

So to recap:

A hospital worker assumed something was a bomb. The worker then chose to NOT follow protocol (which is to evacuate) and personally carry the item outside and then wait with it. It apparently takes the fucking St. Louis County PD Bomb and Arson Squad an hour to show up, which is not reassuring. While they have a fancy bomb robot, apparently they have no bomb dog who could sniff that package and give it the all-clear. And a person seeing mental health care had their private property displayed on the sidewalk and their fucking phones blown up.

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And people wonder why some one needing mental health care might be afraid to go to a doctor. Jesus fucking Christ.