Bomb turns out to be hair spray

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ST. THOMAS ­- A leaking can of hair spray and a pair of drumsticks delivered to the Aubrey C. Ottley Post Office in Sugar Estate caused a bomb scare, road closures and traffic jams Wednesday morning.

Postal employees called 911 about 10:45 a.m. after they noticed "smoke" and "a white powder substance" coming from the package, according to St. Thomas-St. John Police Chief Darren Foy.

V.I. Police bomb disposal officers removed the package and transferred it to the dump in Bovoni, which was deemed a safe location while they waited for bomb technicians from the FBI to arrive from Puerto Rico to open the package and determine its contents.

Police searched the post office and discovered no other suspicious packages or devices, according to Postmaster for the Ottley office Silva Gibbs.

About 35 employees and some customers were evacuated the post office, according to Gibbs.

Personnel from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Virgin Islands Territorial Emergency Management Agency also arrived at the post office and were involved in the investigation, she said.

Police closed Alton Adams Sr. Drive from Barbel Plaza to Schneider Hospital until about 12:45 p.m., when the post office received the "all clear" from police and resumed business.

Charlotte Amalie High School and Lockhart Elementary School were placed on lockdown while police secured the area, according to V.I. Education Department spokeswoman Ananta Pancham.

Police spokeswoman Melody Rames said officers from the bomb disposal unit could not immediately open the package to investigate "because all mail is federal property and the VIPD has no jurisdiction over mail."

- Contact reporter Amanda Norris at 714-9104 or email

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