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Northbound Broadway Extension Reopens after Suspicious Device Scare

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Traffic backs up while authorities investigate a nearby suspicious device. Traffic backs up while authorities investigate a nearby suspicious device.

Staff and Wire Reports

OKLAHOMA CITY—Northbound Broadway Extension has reopened at Hefner Road after being shut down over reports of a suspicious device.

Oklahoma City Police Sgt. Jennifer Wardlow said U.S. 77, also known as the Broadway Extension, was shut down shortly after noon Wednesday. Wardlow said the police bomb squad responded to reports of a possible bomb at an OG&E substation on the city's north side. The roadway was closed at Hefner Road for about two hours.

Several businesses near the substation at N.E. 122nd Street were evacuated. No injuries were reported.

Oklahoma City Police Captain Patrick Stewart said an explosive device was not found. It appears it was a tool box left behind by a contract worker from a previous inspection. 

"There were two words on it that would lead anyone to believe that it was an explosive device," said Capt. Stewart.

The bomb squad determined the contents of the box were not explosives but tools left behind during an inspection.

"A contractor who was here from the time this facility was inspected last between last inspection and the inspection that took place today had left a tool box outside the building in question," Capt. Stewart said.

The employee who left the box said the suspicious words were not on it during the previous inspection. Police would not comment on what the box said, but they are looking into who wrote on it.

There was a hole in the fence that police say is possible someone cut to steal copper from the substation, but is unrelated to the toolbox that was found.

"We have been dealing with copper thefts for years and it is extraordinarily dangerous and we work hard to prevent them," said Brian Alford with OG&E.

The OG&E spokesperson said they are inspecting the substation for damage and if, in fact, copper was stolen.

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