Trade Show Bomb Scare at I-X Center in Cleveland

HIL ANDERSON, SENIOR EDITOR
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Cleveland, OH – A forgotten suitcase caused a bomb scare Monday that closed down the east entrance to the International Exposition Center (I-X Center) in Cleveland for nearly an hour during the opening day of the NA 2008 trade show.

Attendees at the annual event sponsored by the Material Handling Industry of America were kept away from the entrance for around 45 minutes while the Cleveland Police Department bomb squad inspected and then removed the unattended bag.

“The show had already opened and attendees were coming in by the east entrance and there was a package that looked like a suitcase there,” said Robert Peterson, president of I-X Center. “It was there for a while and someone noticed it and reported it.”

Peterson said center employees followed standard operating procedures and called police. A canine unit was dispatched from the nearby airport and arrived within minutes. Peterson said the dog nosed around the bag and indicated it was not a bomb, but officers gingerly removed it to be on the safe side.

The incident did not require any evacuations of the NA 2008 exhibit hall. The show included about 250 exhibitors in 125,000 net square feet of floor space.

Reach Robert Peterson, president of I-X Center, at (216) 676-6000 or rpeterson@ixcenter.com