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Investigation concludes 'radioactive' box no threat

Authorities determined a box marked radioactive found near the mouth of the Poplar River wasn't a threat, but they praised the caller who reported the finding, noting alert citizens keep the nation safe. (Courtesy of the Superior Fire Department.)

Federal, state and local agencies have determined a box found near the mouth of the Poplar River marked “radioactive” was a false alarm.

But the agencies were quick to praise the individual who called emergency services to report what was found.

In a joint press release issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Coast Guard, Wisconsin Department of Health Services, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the Wisconsin National Guard Civil Support Team, Douglas County Sheriff, and Douglas County Emergency Management, officials reminded the public to continue reporting anything suspicious or unusual to their local emergency services in following with the Department of Homeland Security’s “See Something Say Something” public awareness campaign, because informed, alert communities make the nation safer.

A person walking on the beach saw a container about the size of a deck of cards with what appeared to be radioactive markings on it and immediately called emergency services late Tuesday night.

The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office contacted the Superior Fire Department early Wednesday to arrange for a hazardous material team to investigate.  

During the investigation, no maritime safety zones were established because there was no threat to the public. However, a landside safety perimeter and command post was established around the area.

Following an investigation by the Wisconsin National Guard Civil Support Team and Wisconsin Department of Health Services, it was determined there was no radiation in the surrounding area.

The object was removed for proper disposal by health services.