Two downtown Los Angeles buildings were evacuated Thursday afternoon in separate bomb scares that turned out to be false alarms, police said.
About 125 people were forced to leave the lobby of the federal courthouse at 312 N. Spring St. at 1:20 p.m. after a security officer spotted a cardboard box in an elevator.
While judges, attorneys and courthouse workers stood in clusters on the sidewalks, officials cordoned off the one-block stretch of Main Street in front of the building. But the scare was over at 1:50 when a maintenance man said he had inadvertently left the box, which contained metal equipment for repairing door locks, in the elevator.
About an hour later, police were summoned to the Museum of Contemporary Art at 250 S. Grand Ave. with reports that a suitcase with a rope protruding from it had been abandoned in the adjacent California Plaza.
The building and surrounding area were evacuated as bomb squad members destroyed the suitcase with a water cannon. No bomb was found and workers were allowed to re-enter the building about 3:30.