Authorities yet to ID chemicals found in backpack

info@islandpacket.comJanuary 4, 2013 

Contents of a backpack that prompted bomb-squad and hazardous-materials teams to shut access to a Hilton Head Island neighborhood for several hours Thursday were still being analyzed Friday afternoon.

Beaufort County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Sgt. Robin McIntosh said chemicals found inside the bag were not hazardous, based on preliminary testing Thursday by a hazmat team. She said results of further testing to identify the substances are pending.

"We still have no idea why it was there or what purpose it may have served," McIntosh said. "We also still do not know where it came from or who it belonged to."

A resident called authorities at about 10:15 a.m. Thursday after peeking inside the bag and discovering various chemicals and other materials. The resident said the bag had been on the ground in a common area of Old Woodlands Plantation since Wednesday morning, according to the Sheriff's Office.

Deputies quickly cordoned off the area and shut down Island Drive. After sending a robot to retrieve and probe the backpack, the Sheriff's Office Bomb Squad determined the contents were safe and left the scene by early afternoon.

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