SF 1906 Quake Ceremony Moved, Suspicious Backpack

By Lisa Fernandez and Christie Smith
|  Thursday, Apr 18, 2013  |  Updated 8:30 AM PDT
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The annual commemoration of the 1096 earthquake in San Francisco had a last-minute change Thursday morning when San Francisco police moved the event because of a package they thought was suspicious. Christie Smith reports.

The annual commemoration of the 1096 earthquake in San Francisco had a last-minute change Thursday morning when San Francisco police moved the event because of a package they thought was suspicious. Christie Smith reports.

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The annual commemoration of the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco had a last-minute change Thursday morning when San Francisco police moved the event because of a black backpack they thought was suspicious.

MORE: 1906 Earthquake Commemoration to Continue Without Survivors

With the nation on edge after the Boston Marathon twin explosions on Monday, police were taking no chances when a security guard spotted  a man in a dark-hooded jacket leave a backpack on the ground near 700 Market Street at 2:47 a.m. and just leave, Police Chief Greg Suhr said.

The city's bomb squad was called in and investigated for about two hours, finally deeming the backpack safe. Turned out, the pack was filled with papers, Suhr said.

But in the meantime, the city ended up moving the annual 5: 11 a.m. earthquake commemoration remembering the earthquake that rocked the city and killed 3,000 people was moved several blocks away from Lotta's Fountain to Union Square, which was held about 5:30 a.m.

Still, many came out in costume to honor the tragic time in history, despite the scare and change, though this was the first year no survivors of the quake attended the ceremony.

Not to abandon all tradition, city officials laid a wreath on Lotta's Fountain at 6:30 a.m. when all the bomb trucks had cleared.

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