Backpack Full of Sand Causes Bomb Scare at Florida

A parking garage at the University of Florida was closed for six hours as police investigated a bag.

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A parking garage at the University of Florida was shut down for six hours Monday while police investigated a suspicious unattended backpack.

It turned out that the bag was full of sand and had been inadvertently left behind by JanSport, a company that makes backpacks, the Independent Florida Alligator reports. JanSport participated in the school's homecoming parade on Friday and used the sand-filled backpack as a tire stop to keep its multicolored 1967 Volkswagen van in place, the report says.

No charges will be filed against JanSport.

A robot was used to investigate the suspicious bag. The backpack contained a white substance inside a black plastic bag covered with duct tape, the report says.

Police originally thought that the substance was fabric softener. "A lot of the elements that are in sand are also found in fabric softener," a spokesman for the Alachua County Sheriff's Office tells the Independent Alligator.

There was some fuss on campus because students weren't alerted to the situation. The university has an emergency alert system in place to warn students of danger, and it wasn't used during the bomb scare.

"It is important to remember that the campus covers 2,000 acres and the incident Monday at the Student Union involved an area with a roughly 500-foot radius," the school's explanation on its website says.

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