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Bomb threat closes U.S.-Canada tunnel in Detroit

July 12, 2012|By Rene Lynch | This post has been corrected, as indicated below.
  • The Detroit Windsor Tunnel is shut down because of a bomb threat on Thursday, July 12, 2012.
The Detroit Windsor Tunnel is shut down because of a bomb threat on Thursday,… (Jessica J. Trevino / Detroit…)

U.S. and Canadian authorites weren't taking any chances Thursday: They temporarily closed an underwater tunnel linking the two nations after a bomb threat was phoned in to officials in Canada.

The Detroit-Windsor Tunnel -- the world's only underwater vehicular tunnel that runs through an international border -- was closed about 2 p.m. Thursday afternoon.

No bomb was detected, however, and the tunnel was expected to be reopened in both directions for evening rush hour, officials said.

"Nothing was found," Neal Belitsky, president and chief executive of Detroit-Windsor Tunnel, told the Detroit Free Press. Authorities said they thoroughly swept the tunnel and its environs with the help of a K-9 unit, and found nothing to suggest any danger.

The reopening was welcome news for drivers of the nearly 30,000 vehicles that use the tunnel each day to travel back and forth between the countries.

But the closure nonetheless left traffic in a mess. Cars were being diverted out of downtown Detroit, and international motorists were being diverted to the Ambassador Bridge.

There were no immediate details about the bomb threat itself, other than Belitsky's statement to the media that the threat had been called into Canadian authorities.

A message left for Belitsky was not returned before this story was posted online.

[For the Record, 4:13 p.m. July 12: An earlier version of this post identified the tunnel as the world's only underwater tunnel running between two nations. It should have made clear that it's the world's only vehicular tunnel running underwater between two nations.]

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Join Rene Lynch on Google+ and Twitter. Email: rene.lynch@latimes.com

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