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VIDEO: Officers detonate pipe bomb found in Cedar Falls neighborhood
Pipe bomb

VIDEO: Officers detonate pipe bomb found in Cedar Falls neighborhood

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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.

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