“Highly explosive device” at SSM Health eye care clinic turned out to be a red ball

Published: Jan. 12, 2021 at 3:20 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 12, 2021 at 3:51 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - SSM Health’s Davis Duehr Dean Eye Care clinic was evacuated after someone spotted a person throwing what looked like a small red package onto the building roof.

According to the Madison Police Dept., the witness reported seeing the individual toss the object on top of the building, in the 1000 block of Regent St., around noon Tuesday. Asked what that red thing was, the other person told the witness it was a “highly explosive device” and then fled.

MPD officers responding to the scene set up a perimeter and blocked off traffic, the incident report stated. They also proceeded to evacuate the eye care center, including those who were in the middle of medical procedures at the time.

Madison Metro sent buses to offer the evacuees a warm place to stay.

When the Dane Co. bomb squad arrived and found the object, they confirmed it wasn’t “highly explosive” and was, in fact, a red ball.

A spokesperson for SSM Health told NBC15 that authorities gave the all clear to re-enter the location around 1 p.m. They were able to resume clinic appointments about an hour later, but canceled all further surgical appointments.

The clinic plans to reach out to any patient affected by the incident.

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