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.

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soundoff (71 Responses)
  1. :(

    Muslims are already starting to attack back for Draw Muhammed Day!

    May 20, 2010 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Adam

      Awesome. Generalized and racist. Even Western culture is hesitant to portray God in its open and more liberal society. Why's it such a big deal if Islam, generally more conservative, doesn't want *their* First Commandment broken?

      Stay on topic.

      It's probably yeast.

      May 20, 2010 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • haha

      you have got to be kidding

      May 20, 2010 at 8:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Don

      Hey Paraniods – it's just a balloon. Hey news people looking for SOMETHING to grab our attention – find some real news!

      May 21, 2010 at 7:22 am | Report abuse |
  2. Kevin

    Uhhhhh,, don't all balloon ship with a powder coating to keep them from sticking. Holy Paranoia Batman.
    The terrorist are winning.

    May 20, 2010 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • nepawoods

      It .... is ... bah ... loooon!


      May 20, 2010 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Florence Mendelbaum

      It's really the idiots that are wiining. Crap like this isn't even news worthy.

      May 20, 2010 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
  3. zunedog

    i saw a balloon the other day floating,should i be afraid? its almost like we look forward to be bombed,or attacked some way,it just seems that way to me.

    May 20, 2010 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Imbecile

    I found a powdery substance on my doughnut. I think it's time to close down Dunkin Donuts.

    May 20, 2010 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      WE've cancelled the ballons for our kids birthday party on Saturday. I had images of black ops guys dropping from helicopters on zip lines or an unmanned drone taking out the back yard! We're going to imagine balloons instead – the kids will probably just want to swing pretend sticks at the imaginary pinata anyway.

      May 20, 2010 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
  5. George

    Hmmm... could it be, LATEX?? All those senisitive people with a past in the fast food or medical industry run for the protection of your unblemished skin! Aiiiieeeee! 🙂

    May 20, 2010 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Whatever


      May 20, 2010 at 11:00 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Tom

    Probably just heroin.

    May 20, 2010 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Brian

    I bet this is nothing. When I was younger, we made "stress balls" out of balloons and flour in arts and crafts....maybe a little kid had this and dropped it while he and his mom were walking through the mall.

    May 20, 2010 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • tom

      mmmmmm...stress do you make one, brian?

      May 20, 2010 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
  8. kevin John Gil

    the terrorists ARE winning – PARANOIA is rampant in big cities. BO should come out and tell us we're all safe, but he himself is terrified of Muslims (not liking / voting for him).

    May 20, 2010 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tim

      The terrorists aren't winning. They've won.

      May 20, 2010 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • F

      -facepalm- ...

      May 20, 2010 at 6:53 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Zippo

    A balloon? How embarassing. Not long ago we were evacuating places over a cooler. If you are evacuating because of a balloon the terrorists are no longer winning.. they've won.

    May 20, 2010 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Archie Q

      I totally agree Zippo.

      May 20, 2010 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Tom

    I'll feel safer if its just heroin......right?

    May 20, 2010 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
  11. john

    balloons with powder? Aren't those usually shoved up someones a$$?

    May 20, 2010 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
  12. jon

    Is there ANY way we can blame George Bush for this?? Evacuate that mall.

    May 20, 2010 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tim

      I'm sure President Obama and Eric Holder will find a way to blame this on us racist crazies in Arizona.

      May 20, 2010 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Nick

    The worst pies, in Philly, to like them, is silly. But if you buy one, no take backs, you knew they had Anthrax.

    May 20, 2010 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
  14. nepawoods

    Bad enough that some poor little kid lost his balloon, but now he or she will be charged with terrorism.

    May 20, 2010 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Terry

      I say Zero Tolerance! Track the little kid down and ban him from ever attending school, put him on the no fly list and waterboard him until he confesses to his terroristic plot and names his financial backers and where he received his training.

      May 20, 2010 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Miss Jones

      LMBO @ Terry! That's the right idea!

      May 20, 2010 at 8:18 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Georgianphilly

    I was around there today, so crowded, streets were closed, media, choppers, police and FBI were around, thanks God, it's was a "false alarm". Philadelphians still continue to live with old city life 🙂

    May 20, 2010 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
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