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Bomb Squad Sent To Gateway Area After Suspicous Device Reported

Springfield Police Department

Police responded to reports of a suspicious device left near a gas line this  afternoon, on International Way in Springfield’s Gateway area.  As KLCC’s Brian Bull reports, authorities have given the all-clear. 

Police say the intent was to scare and alarm.  Two road flares were attached to a digital recorder, giving it the appearance of a bomb.  It was found on top of a tall brick structure outside the Professional Credit Service call center.  An employee saw it while on break, and called police.  Just over an hour later, the Eugene Police Bomb Squad showed up to assist Springfield personnel.

Credit Springfield Police Department
Springfield Police Department
EPD Bomb Squad personnel arrive at the scene during the noon hour today.

SPD Lieutenant Scott McKee says by late afternoon, five technicians with two bomb robots dismantled the device with a special charge.

“It’s a high-intensity water charge designed to disrupt or separate the electronic device from the potential explosive," explains McKee.

"Obviously our main concern is safety, our secondary concern is the criminal investigation.  And when you disrupt something like that, you have the potential for destroying evidence but we collect forensically every little bit and piece that we can find, so it’s going to be a forensic investigation.” 

McKee says the call center recently terminated several employees.  He says it’s possible someone with “lasting animosity” could have been responsible for the hoax. 

The investigation is ongoing, and the FBI is also involved.  

Copyright 2017, KLCC.

Brian Bull is an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Oregon, and remains a contributor to the KLCC news department. He began working with KLCC in June 2016.   In his 27+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (22 regional),  the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from  the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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