May 20th, 2010
04:44 PM ET

Balloon with powder closes part of Independence Mall

Authorities evacuated the pedestrian area of Philadelphia's Independence Mall on Thursday after "a balloon with a powdery substance" was found near the Liberty Bell, authorities said.

Preliminary field tests were negative for explosives and radioactivity, FBI Special Agent J.J. Klaver told CNN, but were positive for an organic substance.

Klaver said a security guard found the balloon near the Liberty Bell Pavilion and alerted authorities. The FBI plans a news conference shortly, he said.

Post by:
Filed under: U.S.
soundoff (71 Responses)
  1. philadelphia resident

    yes balloons come with powdery stuff in them. but this wasnt just a deflated balloon laying around. it was not empty. it contained a white powder. it could be nothing. yeah but imagine if it is something harmful? better safe than sorry. it right to shut down streets and have 6 helicopters in the sky w every newstation around causing traffic issues? was it fair to scare kids and send them all packing. was it fair to have the 5 ambulances and several fire engines and cops and fbi all over? hmm probably not. these are always perfect moments for real terrorists or people trying to f stuff up by distracting the idiots with the balloon filled with flour and running across the street to bomb people or throw anthrax around. i DID read though it tested positive for a substance similar to anthrax...but ill wait for the final word before i start actually getting nervous. its ok to make a joke out of it, but...the entire world is dealing w this kind of stuff. at one point its kind of just not funny anymore.

    May 20, 2010 at 7:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • olddannyboy9

      Yes and hijackers ONLY want to go Cuba and those powdered envelops they found at USPS facilities weren't filled with Anthrax it was only Sweet and Low, WE ARE AT WAR which part of being at war you guys don't get?

      May 20, 2010 at 7:40 pm | Report abuse |
  2. John

    Its over. The terrorists have won. We're now terrified of balloons and lunch bags.

    May 20, 2010 at 7:07 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Kris

    OMG! It's an attack by the Killer Clowns!!!

    May 20, 2010 at 7:10 pm | Report abuse |
  4. SmarterThanYOU

    "...but it did test positive for organic substances..." hmmmm white powdery substance... in a balloon... organic... anyone else thinking what I am thinking and it has nothing to do with organophosphates.......

    May 20, 2010 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Sasha

    Well, look, I found a TERRORIST TRAINING MANUAL:

    May 20, 2010 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Slotracer

    dangit... I lost my stash of body powder. I kept it in a balloon but it's gone. It was organic powder too. Expensive stuff.

    May 20, 2010 at 7:38 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Scott A

    This all reeks of a conservative conspiracy to cause local governments, and then the national government, to do the same thing England has done and put cameras to cover every foot sidewalk and roadway. Wonder what that jerk who doctored that video that ended up destroying ACORN is doing. Sounds like something a person as terrible as him and his bigoted friends would do. Anarchy and trying to cause a pandemic is still a crime isn't it?

    May 20, 2010 at 7:39 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Dan


    May 20, 2010 at 8:07 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Jeff

    a s 9 9 r e d b a l l o o n s g o b y

    May 20, 2010 at 8:43 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Ed

    Perhaps those of you who want to make inappropriate comments about the situation ought to get the full information before you crack jokes or make wise-ass statements. Yes, a balloon by itself would be an unusual reason to shut down the streets of Philly...but this was NOT a balloon by itself. Whether it was filled with something as simple as flour could not be immediately determined, so the police did what they thought was best–especially given recent events, such as the car bomb in NYC.

    As someone who works in Philly everyday, I'm glad the authorities had the situation under control. Remember, we are fighting an enemy that has used any number of creative tactics and things we would have thought ludicrous before they happened. Besides, if a terrorist really did want to stage an attack, what better object to use than something most people would simply overlook and walk past.

    I agree with one of the earlier posters: those of you who are making ridiculous comments would be the first to yell and scream about the authorities doing nothing if this had been a real terrorist attack in your own communities or if it had impacted one of your loved ones. I pray that none of you will EVER have to deal with what the families of those who were killed in the 9/11 attacks have had to deal with. In the meantime, be thankful that people are paying more attention to these things–and that the authorities are acting quickly to make sure situations don't get out of control, just in case it is a real attack.

    May 20, 2010 at 10:47 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Roger

    Funny jokes? My daughter was there on a class trip from CA. Flour? It ruined her chance to see a part of our history. Anthrax? It ruined her life. I'm not laughing at your jokes....

    May 20, 2010 at 10:53 pm | Report abuse |
  12. FreeBornMan

    probably an 8 ball.

    May 21, 2010 at 1:28 am | Report abuse |
  13. Timbo

    CLASS TRIP??? You mean the whole grade was exclude from seeing a part of our history?? Tell your lil snoty daughter to shut up!! Instead of seeing history she got to be apart of it!! Go to sleep bum.

    May 21, 2010 at 3:26 am | Report abuse |
  14. dezzy

    i dont know about all of that but i have an allergic reaction to whatever that crap is on balloons

    August 28, 2011 at 7:56 pm | Report abuse |
1 2 3