Bomb scare sparks evacuation of Portland's Rose Garden arena

Suspicious device later determined not to be an explosive |


PORTLAND, Ore. --

A suspicious device that sparked an evacuation at the Rose Garden Arena was not an explosive, police said Friday.

Police received a call about a suspicious device in a restroom at about 6 p.m., said Sgt. Mike Marshman of the Portland Police Bureau.

The Explosives Disposal Unit was called to investigate, Marshman said, and the unit was able to remove the device safely.

Police said the suspicious device was a PVC pipe that was attached to the wall somehow. An employee saw it and became concerned.

More than 10,000 people were attending the "Women Of Faith" conference Friday. At least 2,500 people inside the Rose Garden were evacuated and 8,000 were not allowed in, police said.

The event was canceled for the night and will continue Saturday.

People at the conference said the evacuation was hectic.

"I think there are probably 10,000 women out here and it's pretty chaotic, and everyone is running around each way," said Monica Sturdevant.

Another woman said she was separated from her daughter during the commotion.

"I wasn't really afraid, but my daughter was in there and I was afraid we couldn't get in and get to her," said Darlene Judkins, who was evacuated.

Rose Garden officials had no comment Friday.

The investigation is ongoing, police said.

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