The Secretary of State Police Bomb Squad has a daunting task on its hands — gather information about a pipe bomb it nearly destroyed to prevent it from exploding.
“It was very well made,” said Secretary of State Police Sgt. Rick Beaty. “It was not crudely made, it was fashioned out of PVC pipe and had the end caps in place. So it looked like somebody knew what they were doing.”
Beaty described the bomb found in the 600 block of East Washington as being 7 inches long and about 1 inch wide. It had burn marks on it, which indicates someone tried to light it. The “kill radius” for something that size could be about 25 feet in all directions, but Beaty said there was no shrapnel inside so the effects wouldn’t have been as severe — though it was still dangerous.
“If you’re within five feet of it, you can get what they call blast wave damage or over pressure, which can damage your organs and make your heart stop,” he said.
The bomb squad took it out with a water cannon, which many times breaks items open to prevent a pressurized explosion. Beaty said they’ll take material samples and try to get product numbers off the PVC pipe to trace who made it.
“We get a lot of information,” he said. “Even though it seems like it’s been destroyed, we get a lot of evidence off it.”