VIDEO: Officers detonate pipe bomb found in Cedar Falls neighborhood

2013-04-16T22:00:00Z 2013-04-17T11:08:04Z VIDEO: Officers detonate pipe bomb found in Cedar Falls neighborhoodBy Courier Staff Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa ---  A pipe bomb discovered in a Cedar Falls neighborhood was detonated by a bomb squad without incident Tuesday afternoon.

A robot from the Waterloo Police Department bomb squad picked up the bomb from a yard in the 2300 block of Royal Drive Tuesday afternoon and transported it across the street to another yard where sandbags had been set up to safely detonate the device.

Residents of the neighborhood had been evacuated in the morning and children at the nearby Community United Child Care on Seerley Boulevard were locked in the building during the event.

Some parents came to pick up their children after the center alerted them about the situation.

Cedar Falls Police Chief Jeff Olson said the pipe bomb was found by Cedar Falls Public Works employees who were working to clear storm drains. They located the bomb underground in a storm drain and removed it, then realized it was potentially dangerous and alerted police after 8 a.m.

The bomb appeared to be PVC pipe with tape on the ends, but Olson said it also had metal components.

"It was wet, but it was clean. It's hard to determine how long it had been down there," Olson said of the device.

George Pfalzgraf, who lives across the street from where the device was found, was on a teleconference in his home when the neighborhood was evacuated.

He said at first he didn't take it seriously, but after being evacuated for more than three hours, he praised the police for being cautious.

"Police have to be right 100 percent of the time on these kinds of things," Pfalzgraf said.

 

Earlier: Cedar Falls neighborhood evacuated after pipe bomb found


12 p.m. - CEDAR FALLS, Iowa --- A city of Cedar Falls street department worker made the discovery of a pipe bomb in the 2300 block of Royal Drive Tuesday morning.

The worker was driving a machine sucking up debris from storm sewers and sucked up the pipe bomb around 8 a.m. It is a white PVC pipe with duct tape on both ends. The worker dropped the pipe bomb in a yard at 2311 Royal Drive, and called authorities.

After investigating, police decided to evacuate the area and call Waterloo to have the pipe bomb blown up by the bomb squad. Olson said it wasn't clear how long the device had been in the storm sewer.

Police Chief Jeff Olson confirmed that Cedar Falls police and University of Northern Iowa police have been dispatched as well as the Waterloo Police Department bomb squad. A command post has been set up at Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant on University Avenue.

Olson said the United Child Care Center-Valley Park, which is nearby, went on voluntary lockdown during the incident. Cedar Falls Schools Supt. Mike Wells said Peet Junior High School was not in lockdown, but officials were monitoring the situation.

Witness Jim Smith lives across the street from where the pipe bomb was found. He said police initially told him he could stay in the house, but to avoid the front windows

A short time later he and all his neighbors were evacuated.

"It's just a white PVC pipe with tape on the ends," Smith said of the bomb, which was clearly visible in the yard across the street.

 

Earlier: Pipe bomb found in Cedar Falls


10 a.m. - CEDAR FALLS, Iowa --- Police have blocked off the 2300 block of Royal Drive and the surrounding neighborhood this morning after authorities discovered a pipe bomb in the area.

Police Chief Jeff Olson confirmed that Cedar Falls police and University of Northern Iowa police have been dispatched as well as the Waterloo Police Department bomb squad. A command post has been set up at Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant on University Avenue.

Olson confirmed that a nearby day care center is on lockdown and Peet Junior High School is on standby, monitoring the situation.

Nothing has been exploded, Olson said, but noted the Waterloo bomb squad is still en route to the scene.

About a dozen parents have arrived at Community United Child Care on Seerley to pick up their children.

One parent, Chris Kremer, said he received a phone call from the center, and pickup is voluntary, but he decided to play it safe. He said he heard there was a bomb found nearby.

More details will be provided as they become available.

Copyright 2015 Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(9) Comments

  1. xdfred2
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    xdfred2 - April 29, 2013 12:14 pm
    The article says PVC plastic pipe was found. If this was a real bomb, where's the BATF?
  2. leopard_colony
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    leopard_colony - April 27, 2013 7:42 pm
    Thanks for the update. Using threaded end caps to make the bomb was suicidal. Sometimes the powder gets ignited when screwing on the end caps. These are not toys, if you want things that go bang then stick with firecrackers or a potato gun. Making bombs is a good way to get killed or end up in jail for a long time.
  3. nobodyspecial
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    nobodyspecial - April 23, 2013 6:04 am
    My understanding from someone that was close to the incident, said the actual pipe bomb was a 3/4" galvanized pipe with metal caps on both ends and a fuse attached. The metal pipe fell out of one end of the larger PVC pipe when the duct tape came loose. The PVC pipe was still laying in the neighbors yard when the pipe bomb was rendered safe by Waterloo PD across the street in the sandbag enclosure.
  4. leopard_colony
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    leopard_colony - April 21, 2013 12:08 pm
    Could someone provide a link to pipe bombs for sale? Reojoe said they listed for sale on the internet.

    Pipe bombs are a good way for the bomb maker to get killed. A few years ago two boys tried to make one, it went off and killed one with the other badly burned. DO NOT play with home made explosives. Even if you don't blow yourself up the noise will get police looking for you, including the feds.
  5. Finster
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    Finster - April 19, 2013 11:40 am
    Hard to say. Contractors are known to cover the ends of pvc with duct tape while laying pipe to keep out debris. Besides that, im sure there are better materials available for building a pipe bomb than duct tape.
  6. reojoe
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    reojoe - April 18, 2013 12:52 pm
    Pipe bomb. It looked exactly like the ones advertised on right wing websites.
  7. IowanAtheist
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    IowanAtheist - April 17, 2013 4:35 pm
    I believe CF pays for this service....
  8. GloriaJL
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    GloriaJL - April 17, 2013 8:28 am
    Gotta luv the Waterloo PD. Glad we could help our CF friends!
  9. xdfred2
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    xdfred2 - April 16, 2013 2:16 pm
    Was it a pipe bomb, or was it something that only looked like a pipe bomb?
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