Lockdown lifted at Hanscom Air Force Base after bomb scare

BEDFORD, Mass. (WHDH) – Hanscom Air Force Base in Bedford has returned to normal operations after a bomb scare Thursday prompted a four-hour lockdown.

A state police bomb squad unit, local police, ATF officers and FBI officials responded around 9 a.m. to the base after a routine screening of a truck at an entrance gate found “potentially explosive materials,” officials said.

“There was a positive test for the potential presence of explosives. There was a second check done that also tested positive,” Massachusetts State Police Major Francis Leahy said.

The base immediately announced the closure of the Vandenberg Gate, which is located along on Route 2A, after a bomb-sniffing dog zeroed in on a crate that was on board the moving truck. A swab test found “explosive residue.”

Several nearby base facilities were evacuated. The base has since returned to normal operations and personnel have been cleared to return to work.

Two people that were in the truck were pulled aside and questioned by authorities. No arrests have made.

“The driver was on scene. He was completely cooperative,” Leahy said. “No one is suspected of a crime.”

Officials said the truck was transporting the belongings of someone who was moving onto the base.

A bomb squad and k-9 dogs could be seen unloading dozens of boxes and pallets as they worked to deescalate the situation. The truck has since been cleared, but some items that were removed will be taken to a special facility for testing.

“Given the times we live in, this was the right call,” state police said regarding their handling of the incident. They also said that they were “confident” the truck did not contain explosives.

The moving van that brought the base to a standstill returned to its Acton headquarters is part of a fleet by Bigfoot Moving and Storage.

Operations manager Bob Harris says the men in the vehicle were company employees transporting household items.

The company didn’t reveal who owns the items inside the truck but did say the items belong to a “military member moving from state to state.”

The company also said they complied fully with the investigation and that they conduct these moves for military members on a regular basis.

No injuries were reported during the incident. Civilian flights leaving and approaching the base are continuing as scheduled.

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