Baltimore City Police and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives are now investigating a van loaded with 1,000 gallons of gasoline in a parking garage in downtown Baltimore City. The van was found near the area of where President Trump is expected to visit Thursday, reported The Baltimore Sun.
A police spokesperson told The Sun that they received a call at 11:02 am about a suspicious van in a parking garage at 100 E. Pratt St., which is home to T. Rowe Price and PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Around noon, emergency crews expanded the evacuations zone across the inner Harbor to include The Gallery shopping mall, the Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace and Brookshire Suites hotels.
T. Rowe Price employees have confirmed they've been sent home for the day -- many are shook-up at what could have been a possible terrorist attack ahead of President Trump's visit. Officials haven't yet confirmed if terrorism was involved, but packing 1,000 gallons of gasoline into a van is certainly suspicious.
About one hour ago (1:30 pm), Light Street was evacuated.
The Sun provides several accounts of what's happening on the ground:
Baltimore's Inner Harbor area across from the building was scattered with people dressed in business clothes after the evacuation. Many were clustered together talking, wondering aloud about what's going on. One woman said many people were just using this time to take their regular lunch hour. Several people walked up to crime scene tape, trying to get a view of what's going on in the several block radius.
Erik Williams was working at his desk inside 814 Light St. when his Human Resources director came up and told him there was an emergency on Pratt Street. The 25-year-old was curious to know what was going on so he and a friend decided to grab lunch in the area. But now, they can't get back to their office because it's part of the crime scene. Williams said the incident is also a "coincidence" for how close it falls to the anniversary of Sept. 11.
"It's a little overwhelming and certainly concerning," said Williams, who works in Exelon's human resources department.
The Baltimore City Department of Transportation tweeted a map of the evacuation zone.
New video is emerging from the evacuation zone.
Inner Harbor Evacuated for Vehicle Investigation (Inner Harbor, Baltimore) A van containing 1,000 gallons of gasoline has prompted an evacuation of the northwest harbor area. https://t.co/d8P5SZk1ZJ pic.twitter.com/mPtV9ZQfml— Citizen Breaking Baltimore (@CitizenAppBALT) September 9, 2019
Baltimore Sun reporter Justin Fenton tweeted, "So somebody ditched a truck packed with 1000 gallons of gasoline in a parking garage adjacent to Baltimore's main downtown thorofare, a couple days before the president is due to arrive. Coincidence?"
So somebody ditched a truck packed with 1000 gallons of gasoline in a parking garage adjacent to Baltimore’s main downtown thorofare, a couple days before the president is due to arrive. Coincidence?— Baltimore Sun Staff ☀️ (@justin_fenton) September 9, 2019
President Trump will be at the 2019 House Republican Conference Member Retreat on Thursday. As shown below, the Marriott facility is about a 30-second walk from where the van was found.
This article will be updated.