Bomb squad detonates student art project

Device that stopped traffic for over 2 hours found to be student camera

A suspicious device that shut down the Downtown Connector for more than two hours Monday, which resembled a soda can wrapped in duct tape, was a student camera, Georgia State University officials said Tuesday.

“Georgia State University sincerely apologizes for the traffic problems resulting yesterday from the mounting of a student camera at the 14th Street Bridge,” the university said in a statement. “The camera was one of 18 used by students in an art project and deployed at various locations in the city.”

Officer Kim Jones with the Atlanta Police Department told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that a “tube-shaped object” was found duct-taped to the east side of the bridge just after 1:40p.m. Monday.

A passerby called 911 after spotting the object and police closed both directions of the Downtown Connector just before 2 p.m. Two hours later, the Connector remained closed and roads around the city were clogged.

The device was detonated at the bridge about 3:55 p.m., police said. Engineers then inspected the 14th Street Bridge and determined that it was safe, a DOT spokeswoman said.

The roads were open well before 5 p.m., but the traffic backups took time to clear. Late Monday, Atlanta police said the device wasn’t explosive, but didn’t say what it thought it had blown up or why it was believed to be safe to blow it up. That remained a mystery until about 12:40 p.m. Tuesday, when Georgia State University issued the statement to Channel 2 Action News.

“Georgia State Police, are closely cooperating with the Atlanta Police Department in the removal of all of the cameras,” the university said in its statement.

— Atlanta Journal Constitution‎ Staff writer Alexis Stevens contributed to this report.  Photos via WSB-TV