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Pipe bombs found near campus

Local bomb squad was called to Memorial Park Thursday morning to investigate

Contributor

Published: Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Updated: Tuesday, January 22, 2013 08:01

Pipebomb

Photo by Joe Shearer/The Gateway

(Pictured) The tire tracks from the Omaha Police Department Bomb Squad vehicle remain on the west side of Memorial Park just off of J.E. George Boulevard and Underwood Avenue after responding to reports of a pipe bomb being found on Thursday. The bomb, a triple pipe bomb, was safely defused without incident.

Just before 9:45 a.m. Thursday, a man walking his dog through Memorial Park discovered a PVC pipe bomb in the creek and promptly called the Omaha Police Department to report it. Upon inspection, bomb technicians determined it wasn’t just a pipe bomb.

It was a pipe bomb inside of a pipe bomb inside of another pipe bomb.

Bomb Squad Sgt. Matt Manhart hadn’t seen a triple pipe bomb like this since training. He said the location of the device—found nestled in the creek bed on the west side of the park near Underwood Avenue and J.E. George Boulevard—made it easy for the bomb squad to defuse without putting anyone at risk.  
“At no point in time while we were working on it was anybody in the neighborhood in harm’s way,” Manhart said.

It was also fortunate that all three explosives were made with the same design and materials, which Manhart said appeared to be common items found at hardware stores. To deactivate it, the squad used a minimal amount of their own explosives, a technique that caused three loud bangs equivalent to the sound of a shotgun being fired.

Initially, the bomb squad wasn’t sure what would have caused the pipe bomb to detonate (that would require further inspection of how it was designed), but had it done so, it had enough explosive filler inside to do some damage.

Currently, police have no suspects, and because the pipe bomb appeared to have been in the creek for some time, obtaining evidence from the device won’t be easy. Manhart said the amount of dirt and moisture covering the bomb suggested that it might have been there since before the previous snowfall.

 

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