Peninsula Daily News
and Port Townsend Police Department
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At this time, Port Townsend Police Department and East Jefferson Fire-Rescue crews are en route to Blue Heron Middle School to determine if any more suspicious devices or hazardous materials are present where the original materials were discovered.
The chemicals inside the vehicle will be taken for disposal at the hazardous waste disposal facility at the Port of Port Townsend.
Preliminary examination of the pipe device by the WSP bomb squad indicates that it was constructed to be an explosive device.
Responding agencies included the Port Townsend Police Department, East Jefferson Fire-Rescue, Washington State Patrol, Naval Magazine Indian Island fire department, Jefferson County Sheriff's Office and U.S. Coast Guard.
PORT TOWNSEND — The city's Mountain View community campus — the former Mountain View School that includes such diverse uses as the municipal pool, YMCA, KPTZ-FM radio and police station — was evacuated earlier today because of a years-old pipe bomb brought to the Police Department.
The State Patrol bomb squad was summoned and detonated the device, police spokesman Officer Luke Bogues reported.
The pipe device was examined by X-ray and determined to contain a powdery substance, Bogues said.
Here is Bogues' earlier news release:
PORT TOWNSEND – The City of Port Townsend Mountain View community campus has been closed after a suspicious pipe device was brought to the police department.
The Port Townsend Police Department and other organizations based at Mountain View have been evacuated and streets in the area are closed. The Mountain View complex includes the city swimming pool, and temporarily houses the city library. Community service organizations like the YMCA, 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 is metal, approximately 18 inches in length and capped at both ends. There are no wires visible.
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 1990s by a student and given to a science teacher. It is unknown why the teacher at that time didn't turn over the object to authorities or believe it was suspicious. Today, a schools employee located the object while performing maintenance at the school. The pipe object was then brought to the police station to turn over. It was at that time that the Mountain View campus and surrounding area was secured due to safety concerns.
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.
An additional hazard on scene is science-related chemicals in a school district vehicle. The maintenance employee had taken the chemicals, including mercury and acids, for destruction. The chemicals are an explosion hazard if not properly disposed of.