No injuries were reported following a reported explosion in the area of Rice Road and the Natchez Trace Parkway early this morning that closed down the roadway for roughly five hours.

Madison police Capt. Kevin Newman said that multiple local, state and federal agencies responded to a report of explosives going off within the city limits.

He said that on December 31, at approximately 1:33 a.m., MPD received several calls reporting what appeared to be loud gunshots, fireworks or an explosion in the area of Rice Road and the Natchez Trace Parkway.  


Upon checking the area responding officers found a cardboard box on the side of Rice Road near Trace Cove Drive. Newman reported that the box appeared to have exploded leaving a debris field in the roadway.  

Officers then cordoned off the immediate area and upon searching a nearby wooded area found two additional in-tact cardboard boxes near the original exploded box.

At this point, Rice Road was closed to vehicular traffic from Wrights Mill Drive to Tidewater Lane.  
The Madison Fire Department, as well as investigators with the Madison Police Department, arrived on the scene to assist. Additionally, personnel from the Jackson Police Department Bomb Squad, Alcohol Tobacco Firearms, the Mississippi Office of Homeland Security and the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force were notified and arrived on the scene.

These agencies were also joined by members of the JPD Bomb Squad who conducted a safe encounter/inspection of the two boxes in the wooded area and found that they were empty and contained no explosive materials.  

“A further search and canvas of the area found no other suspicious packages or items,” Newman said.

Rice Road was re-opened to vehicular traffic at approximately 6:20 a.m. Authorities have determined that there were no injuries or damage to property as a result of this incident.

Madison Police and federal investigators continue their investigation into this incident and anyone with information is asked to call the Madison Police Department at (601) 856-6111.