More than a dozen schools, two college campuses, and multiple businesses in Decatur, Alabama, were evacuated Thursday over a suspicious package attached to a railcar laden with toxic gas. But rather than explosives, authorities found the package held several pounds of weed.
Employees at a rail yard were inspecting the train car, which was loaded with hydrogen fluoride, when they noticed a strange parcel "the size of a large telephone book" in the car's dome, according to DecaturDaily.com.
Authorities were alerted to the package's presence, and given its proximity to the railcar's acidy industrial solution, they feared the worst. "It is my understanding that it is potentially fatal if inhaled, and if it comes in contact with the skin, it will cause burns," Decatur Police Lt. John Crouch told WAYY-TV.
So with other law enforcement, fire-rescue, and the FBI in tow, city officials undertook an evacuation of 25 square miles around the site—half the town. Then they swooped in on the suspicious plastic-wrapped pack and found "1 to 2 kilograms of marijuana." Very seedy and stemmy marijuana, from the looks of it.
Where did the pot come from? Mexico, of course, maybe, we think: "[T]he railcar initially entered the country coming across the Mexican border at Brownsville, Texas, and we have every reason to believe that the package was attached to the railcar when it came into the country," Crouch said.
[Photo credit: Decatur (Ala.) P.D.]