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Pipe bomb found - safely removed in Port Townsend

June 28th, 2013 - 3:18pm

(Port Townsend) -- The City of Port Townsend Mountain View community campus has been reopened after the State Patrol bomb squad safely removed and detonated a suspicious pipe device that was brought to the police department.

The P-T Police Department and other organizations based at Mountain View were evacuated and streets in the area were closed at about 12:45 this afternoon.

The Mountain View complex includes the city swimming pool, and temporarily houses the city library.

Community service organizations like the Y-M-C-A, Red Cross, food bank, and KPTZ-FM radio also are housed at the complex, which until 2009 served as an elementary school.

The suspected pipe bomb was metal, approximately 18 inches in length and capped at both ends.

A Port Townsend School District employee brought the device to the police department at approximately 10:45 a.m.

The device had apparently been brought to Blue Heron Middle School in the 1990's by a student and given to a science teacher.

It is unknown why the teacher didnít turn over the object to authorities or believe it was suspicious at that time.

Today, a school employee located the object while performing maintenance.

The pipe object was then brought to the police station.

The Mountain View campus and surrounding area was secured due to safety concerns.

The State Patrol bomb squad arrived at about 12:45 p.m. and began examining and disposing of the device.

Shortly after 1 p.m. officers removed the suspected pipe bomb from the vicinity of hazardous science chemicals, eliminating the possibility of an explosion spreading chemicals into the air.

The pipe device was examined by X-ray and determined to contain a powdery substance.

It was detonated at 1:22 p.m.

The Mountain View campus was reopened at 2 p.m.

Responding agencies included Port Townsend PD, East Jefferson Fire-Rescue, the State Patrol, Naval Magazine Indian Island fire department, the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, and the United States Coast Guard.

The pipe object had sat dormant for a number of years, and there is a strong risk of upsetting a volatile device by moving it.

It is recommended that any suspicious device is left in place and the finder back away to a safe distance and call 9-1-1.

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