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Bomb scare at state Capitol

State bomb experts deliberately detonated a mysterious package just outside the north entrance of the Capitol today, following the evacuation of the state Assembly, which was in session. The sound of the explosion could be heard throughout Capitol Park and nearby office buildings downtown. 

There were no explosives in the package, but it's contents were unknown, the CHP said. The north section of the Capitol was reopened by early afternoon.

The package, a bundle angling from the Sisters of Mercy statue near the building, was the second of two suspicious packages that had been seen Thursday at the Capitol. Earlier, officers had been called to examined a package near the the door to the north entrance. That package was harmless and contained clothing, said CHP Officer Jarrod Lassila.

Both items were noticed shortly after 9 a.m. by a CHP officer, who became suspicious.

"So they closed off the north entrance and called in our hazardous-device detail. They were able to x-ray one of the packages, and found it was not dangerous. They are still checking the other one," Lassila said earlier.

In detonating the  second parcel, CHP officers brought in a robot to scan its contents

The Capitol was not evacuated, but people had been asked to stay away from the north entrance. The Assembly was in session at the time of the scare. 

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