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Bomb squad removes suspected explosive from Anchorage parking lot

Casey Grove

Anchorage police explosives technicians removed a suspected pipe bomb from a Fairview parking lot Wednesday morning.

Federal agents later learned it contained no explosive material, according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Someone called police about 7:20 a.m. to report what they said looked like a pipe bomb in the parking lot of the Piledrivers and Divers Local 2520 union at 825 E. 8th Ave., police spokeswoman Dani Myren said. Police closed Eighth Avenue between Ingra and Hyder streets and called in their bomb squad, as well as federal agents, said Mike Graham, the ATF's agent in charge of Alaska.

The bomb squad used its robot to remove the object, Myren said. Police reopened the street about 9:30 a.m., she said. Officers and agents examined the device to determine if it was really an explosive, Myren and Graham said.

"Whatever the object is, they try to disrupt it. If it is a possible (improvised explosive device) or pipe bomb, so it doesn't explode, there are methods they can use," Graham said. "Basically the device is defeated so it won't explode, and there are pieces we can use as evidence."

Graham would not describe the object or the procedures used to disable it. He said it appeared to be a bomb.

Later, ATF Agent Jay Crump said the object contained no explosives.

"At this point, we don't know what the intent was," Crump said. "But it did resemble what IEDs sometimes look like."

Agents would continue looking for the person who left or dropped the object in an attempt to determine if their actions were criminal, Crump said.

Reach Casey Grove at casey.grove@adn.com or 257-4589.


By CASEY GROVE
casey.grove@adn.com