Bomb squad blows up homemade explosive device
The Richland Police Department Bomb Squad was called to Quincy on Feb. 22 after city crews found a small homemade explosive device in a parking lot in the downtown.
The device was destroyed using the bomb squad’s robot and an explosive of its own.
The questionable device, which was about the size of a “hotdog,” was wrapped in black tape and had a fuse coming out one end of it, said Sgt. Chris Lafferty of the Quincy Police Department. It was unknown Tuesday if the device had been active, Lafferty said.
City crews were finishing pruning the trees in the downtown area when one employee spotted the device at about 9:30 a.m. near a tree, in the back area of the CHS parking lot at the corner of B Street and Central Avenue South. Crews immediately called Quincy police, which then notified the bomb squad.
The intersection was cordoned off for safety and monitored by the police department until the bomb squad could arrive; however, no nearby businesses were evacuated.
The device was destroyed at about 1 p.m. Sgt. Kevin Berger of the Richland Police Department first dug a small hole in the ground of the parking lot. The robot was used to place the homemade device into the hole. The robot then placed another explosive into the hole to destroy the homemade device and potentially detonate it.
Berger said he used about a quarter pound of PETN, or pentaerythritol tetranitrate, to destroy the device. The small explosion shook some nearby businesses and even got a few cheers from people who had stepped outside to watch.
The Richland Bomb Squad is assigned by the FBI to cover explosive-related calls in southeast Washington, Berger said. The robot costs about $250,000, he added.
— By Jill FitzSimmons, firstname.lastname@example.org