Archive for Thursday, May 17, 2007

Suspected bomb destroyed

May 17, 2007


Authorities respond to pipe-bomb scare outside a Lawrence business

The F.B.I., a bomb squad, and federal explosives agents responded to a Lawrence business tonight, to investigate what appeared to be an explosive device. Enlarge video

A worker leaving the East Hills Business Park on Wednesday found what appeared to be a pipe bomb under his vehicle, triggering a scare that ended when a bomb squad destroyed the device hours later.

"It appears to be an explosive device. It appears to be a device that could have caused harm if it went off. Luckily, it didn't," Lawrence Police Sgt. Mark Warren said about 10:20 p.m., after a bomb squad from Overland Park came to the scene and blew the device apart with a remote-controlled cannon. "Obviously, somebody put it there, but how and when I don't know."

Lawrence Police Capt. Dan Affalter said an employee of Pearson Government Solutions reported that he was leaving work about 5:35 p.m. when he saw the device hanging from under his vehicle. The employee pulled it loose before realizing what it was, Affalter said.

From a distance, the pipe appeared to be about a foot long with material attached to the outside.

The device lay in the parking lot about 100 yards from the Pearson building throughout the evening as police restricted traffic in the area. At least one nearby building was evacuated.

Ashley Hornberger, who identified herself as an employee of Vangent Inc., contacted the Journal-World on Wednesday night to express concern that some employees in the area weren't told of the situation until about 6:15 p.m.

"Everybody should have been notified in a timely manner," she said.

Representatives of the FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives came to the scene, along with Lawrence-Douglas County Fire & Medical. Between roughly 9 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., the bomb squad blasted the pipe twice using a remote-controlled device that shot a projectile similar to a shotgun shell. Police then moved in and began examining it.

Warren said it would be collected as evidence and that detectives would continue investigating how it got there.


Patriot2 11 years ago

That's nothing. When the tornado sirens were going off Vangent, then Pearson, employees were told to stay at their work stations and continue to do their jobs!

countrygirl 11 years ago

And how many tornados have hit the business park?

Patrick Wilbur 11 years ago

Patriot2 - I was a supervisor at Pearson/Vangent a few years back. There were actually designated areas for storm threats and we did not keep working during a warnings (not surprised if that has changed with all the call center work). That being said it wouldn't really matter where you went if the building took a hit. Kind of like the old "duck and cover" nuclear strategy from the 50s.

Eric - I think Vangent IS the old Pearson Government Solutions. Pearson cashed out a few months back.

ksdivakat 11 years ago

Doesnt matter if a tornado has hit the business park or not, tornado's are unpredictable and when the sirens sound that has to be taken seriously. It is the responsibility of the management to make sure employees are safe.......If a tornado hits the park or any other catastrophe that is not dealt with properly by management, and people are hurt, then i guess that business changes names again, from pearson, to vangent, to the people who now own it due to mismanagement!

Wilbur_Nether 11 years ago

WOW! This discussion thread, completely derailed by the first post. Patriot2, that is the very definition of efficiency--congratulations.

Oh, by the way, back to the topic of the article. I hope the investigators identify and arrest the person(s) responsible for this device, and that the person(s) is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

countrygirl 11 years ago

What I was getting at that was in the 6 years that I've worked at Pearson which is now Vangent, there hasn't been a storm that was even close to dropping a funnel anywhere near the business park. Some people just want to complain about how their company handles emergencies, but I think Vangent and the staff does a very good job with employee safety. I don't know what department the second poster worked in, but every time there's been a storm with tornado warning issued that I've been there, we've all been moved in internal conference rooms with no windows. The notice about the bomb went out site wide last night less than 40 minutes after the bomb was discovered. Just what do you want??

And back to the topic--hope the nail the idiot who planted the bomb. You may have been seeking revenge on someone, but threatening their co-workers is not the way to be getting it.

AIPAC_KILLER 11 years ago

Is this at all related to the pipebombs found at KU last Friday? A KU employee received an email death threat... whats going on here? Didnt the security cams capture anything? Catch this creep!

doc1 11 years ago

I say the guy put it there himself. Any takers?

Linda Endicott 11 years ago

I would think, since it was hanging from this man's car, that it's possible someone was targeting that particular person.

Why didn't they inform all people in the area of the danger? If the damn thing had exploded on its own, and nobody was warned, people could have been hurt.

feeble 11 years ago

"40 minutes is far too long, period. Since they knew it was a bomb, the building should have been evacuated immediatly."

So, because there is a bomb in the parking lot, you should direct people into the parking lot....right.

Granted, the safe evacuation distance for a 5lb explosive is ~850 feet, outdoors, but if you sound the alarm, especially before enforement officials have a chance to cordon off the area, you are just increasing the risk of people getting hurt.

Here's a rule of thumb, if it's a bomb designed hurt a lot of people by filling the immediate area with shrapnel, it's best to keep people away from the area. In this case, everyone would have been best served by remaining in the building, preferrably with as many walls between them and the device as possible.

Jason Kent 11 years ago

They did inform everyone in the area of danger as soon as they verified the 'device'. The cry baby that is complaining in the ad works in the other building and was never in any danger. I don't know why the LJWorld printed that part of the story without even looking at the facts. I guess a pipe bomb on a truck wasn't enough drama for them.

Wilbur_Nether 11 years ago

Gee, doc1, shouldn't we let the professionals do their jobs before we start playing armchair detectives? Idle speculation won't help at this point. (Or any other.)

KUGreenMachine 11 years ago

it's funny how they completely hid this story so everyone wouldn't freak out that someone's putting pipe bombs under cars in lawrence....

Jillster 11 years ago

Feeble wrote: "So, because there is a bomb in the parking lot, you should direct people into the parking lot:.right."

The pipe bomb was in the north parking lot. People were directed to get out of the building and go to the south parking lot so that there was an entire building between them and the pipe bomb. Seemed awfully safe to me.

ksdivakat 11 years ago

Does anyone know if any other precautions were taken? Did they search the building? I work out at vangent in that building, I was long at home when this happened and seen the story on the channel 6 news but the anxiety level in this building today is very high and there is little to no communication from management going on about it. There are security camera everywhere out here since we do government contracts, I would think that the police would know by now who it was.

baby_girl 11 years ago

I, too, work at Vangent, Inc. and we were directed to vacate our building approximately 40 minutes after the device was pulled off of the truck. Some of us were actually outside at break when all of this happened. I think everything was done correctly except the person who's truck it was on, left the area after talking to the police instead of sticking around to see if said truck was secure. We were evacuated a safe distance away. I felt safe, just bored out of my mind; I believe most of us were. There is video surveillance, but we all know we won't see that. FBI and ATF were there as was local LPD. The bomb squad showed up hours later. Some of us were released to retrieve our vehicles at 10:40 p.m., those of us that were parked within so so many feet were told to wait closer to midnight due to pieces of. The rest of us were able to retrieve our vehicles around 11:25 p.m. and let go.

All I know is that I'm exhausted. It's crazy how excited and blood pumping it is and then boom, you crash. I was scared to drive my car home and kept imagining that it might explode. Yeah...very scary. No one knows why the person had the device on his or her car, but me, knowing who he or she is, doubts very much that they put it on their own vehicle. People shouldn't make judgments unless you know the person.

Emily Hadley 11 years ago

Since they have outdoor surveillance on at least every corner of the buildings at Pearson, I wonder how much of this activity was recorded.

deborah625 11 years ago

Well, doc1, I wondered the same thing myself.

conservative 11 years ago

Gee they were aware of one potential bomb in a parking lot, and instead of having a knee jerk reaction and ordering everyone out of the building that would likely protect the people inside, they decided to wait until the police arrived and gave them more information. What if when the police arrived they had found another bomb planted in the parking lot on the other side of the building? Then if the management had ordered people out of the building they would have been putting them into harms way. Too many people expect immediate reactions to situations when there is no way for the decision makers to have all the information necessary. In a case like this I would say that waiting was the right decision.

bearded_gnome 11 years ago

wow, still no marion chiming in with how great he would be in this crisis...saving the day, pulling out his '44 etc.

it is amazing the level of monday morning quarterbacking...much we just don't know. hope the perp who planted this gets caught.

AlAlvin 11 years ago

Did they go through any of the buildings after that. No. Did they check the other parking lots. No. And when you asked the cops what was going on they said "Oh, there is a pipe bomb over there." Did they tell any body to go back in the building from the start. No.

warthog 11 years ago

Effective Immediately:

New Storm Policy: If your residence is in a storm warning area; and, if your residence has never been hit by a tornado in the past; you don't have to worry... you get a pass on that one.

leadrain 11 years ago

Could it be possible that the device was placed underneath before he came to work, and only noticed it later? That might explain why no cameras caught a glimpse.

bearded_gnome 11 years ago

ron paul is a real nutbag and this is not at all appropose to this discussion, displaying your own nuttieness and desperation! go away.

kj 11 years ago

Why hasn't there been any updates on this?

bearded_gnome 11 years ago

agreed, some update would be nice!

4real2000 11 years ago

To all of you saying you didn't get informed of the situation in time.....shut the **** up!!! Do you really have to cry about everything. You are the type of people that burn yourselves on coffee and then blame the person that gave it to you. Grow up!!! Did you get hurt? NO!! Did any harm come to you? NO!! Get over it!!!

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