The wired box which created a bomb scare at the gas works in Auckland Park. 110214. Picture: Chris Collingridge 916

Johannesburg - A red wire leading down from a concrete pillar towards a small, steel box.

This was the suspicious “bomb” that caused a mass evacuation of the Egoli Gas company on Annet Road, between Wits and the University of Johannesburg, in Cottlesloe as police were called to investigate on Tuesday morning.

The road was shut to traffic as the bomb squad and sniffer dogs were called in. A major traffic jam backed up in the area because of the road closures in the area.

“When they tried to diffuse it, they realised it was an empty box,” said police spokeswoman Lieutenant-Colonel Katlego Mogale.

Pedestrians had reported the matter to the police as they were worried it could have been a bomb. The unusual steel box was padlocked to a waist-high concrete pillar on the pavement outside the Egoli Gas building. The lid of the box was slightly open, with a red wire leading out towards the top of the pillar, where it disappeared inside a hole drilled in the concrete block.

Elizabeth Ralitsela was walking to work when the police were closing off the area at about 8am.

“I was scared because I don’t know if it’s real or not,” she said.

The road was reopened to traffic by 10.30am and no other buildings in the area were evacuated.

Mogale said the police were investigating the matter.

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