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Neighborhood cleared after bomb discovery

March 31, 1998|By DON AINES

ZULLINGER, Pa. - Police are used to responding to bomb threats and suspicious packages, but the object found in the front yard of a Washington Township home Sunday afternoon turned out to be a real pipe bomb.

A U.S. Army bomb disposal unit from the 756th Ordnance Co. in Fort Indiantown Gap, Pa., was called to examine the device, which Washington Township Police Sgt. Barry Keller said was approximately 10 inches long. The bomb was found by the homeowner on the 5800 block of Buchanan Trail East shortly after 1 p.m.

"They did say they were investigating it and said there was going to be an explosion ... I assume they blew it up. After the bang, everybody was pretty at ease," said Waynesboro Fire Department Chief Dale Fishack.

The bomb disposal unit did not want its method of disposing of the pipe bomb revealed, Keller said.

"They had the road blocked off from Price's Church Road to Polktown Road," according to a woman who lived near where the bomb was found. She would not give her name, but said the bomb was not found in her yard.

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The police report said the homes within a 300-meter radius of the bomb were evacuated. The woman said a police officer came to her house at about 4:15 p.m. and told her to evacuate.

"We went to Doris Billow," she said of the Doris I. Billow Ice Arena just west of Polktown Road. She said a number of other people from the neighborhood also went there to wait.

Clara Horst, of 5712 Tick Ridge Road, said she and her husband went to a restaurant and then to church. By the time they returned, the incident was over.

Fishack said his department wasn't notified of the situation until about 4 p.m. By that time, he said most of the residents had been evacuated by police.

He said the scene was cleared at about 6 p.m.

According to the police, the bomb could have been placed or thrown into the yard between Saturday afternoon and the time it was discovered.

"We've got some information to work with, but no real suspects, Keller said.

Anyone with informa-tion can call the Washington Township Police Department at 1-717-762-1145.

Along with the Waynesboro Fire Department, Keller said the Waynesboro Ambulance Squad, Waynesboro Fire Police, the Medic II unit from Waynesboro Hospital and the Smithsburg Fire Department assisted at the scene.

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