Police, fire units and a haz-mat team rushed to a BMW plant in northwest South Carolina on Friday evening after what appeared to be a bomb was discovered in a steel drum in the parking lot, authorities said.
The Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office announced that investigators had "confirmed" that a device found in a large steel drum about 6 p.m. ET was a chlorine gas bomb.
Within 15 minutes, however, sheriff's Lt. Anthony Levy rushed out a statement saying "I am glad to report to you that upon further examination by the Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office Hazardous Devices Unit the suspected bomb was determined to be a water purification unit and not a bomb."
Sheriff Chuck Wright told reporters that the owner of the system quickly showed up at the scene and told authorities what it was after the bomb squad had arrived.
Editor’s note: NBC News incorrectly reported that authorities in Greer, S.C., had found a chlorine gas bomb at a BMW plant there, based on a news release from the Spartanburg County, S.C., Sheriff’s Office and confirmation from a department spokeswoman. A short time later, the department issued a second release correcting that the device was determined to have been a water purification filter.
— M. Alex Johnson