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Walmart evacuated after suspicious containers found

The Hastings Walmart was evacuated early Wednesday morning after maintenance employees found two suspicious looking containers outside the building.

According to Hastings Police Chief Mike McMenomy, Hastings Police received a call at 3:22 a.m. from a Walmart maintenance employee who indicated several employees had gone outside the building at the west end (employee parking lot area). They found two suspicious looking plastic containers, identical in size, with different-colored fluids in them. Holes had been drilled into the top lids and cotton stuffed in the holes.

"They (the employees) put the containers into a shopping cart and moved them to the east side of the building," McMenomy said.

Hastings Fire Department, Police and deputies from the Dakota County Sheriff's office responded to the call. The bomb squad from the St. Paul Police Department also responded and took the containers to its lab for testing. Those results were not immediately available.

Hastings Police officers who worked the day shift Wednesday were called in earlier to assist with other calls during this incident.

"The store was closed and people were cleared from the building," McMenomy said. "Our officers worked with Walmart loss prevention employees."

Nothing suspicious was found inside the building.

The scene was cleared by 7 a.m. and the store re-opened for business.

More information will be posted as it becomes available.