Packages found at Bell Middle School declared safe

SAN DIEGO - A tape-wrapped box with a wire protruding from it turned up in an office at a Paradise Valley middle school Tuesday, prompting administrators to keep students clear of that part of the campus until a bomb squad determined the object was harmless.

The suspicious-looking parcel was found on a shelf at Bell Middle School in the 600 block of Briarwood Road about 8:30 a.m., according to the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.

Students in classes adjacent to the office were moved into other rooms while an explosives-handling team was en route, SDFRD spokesman Maurice Luque said.

When an X-ray scan showed no sign of hazardous materials in the shoebox-sized container, the personnel opened it, finding a flashlight, a calculator and other harmless things inside.

While at the campus, the bomb squad also investigated an errant purse found in a custodian's office Tuesday morning, determining that it too contained only innocuous "odds and ends," Luque said.

The origins of both the handbag and the box were unknown.

Police and fire officials gave an all-clear at the school about 10:45 a.m.

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