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Bluemont closed, bomb squad called in for suspicious package

By Rose Schneider

Officials shut down a major Manhattan street and called in a bomb squad on Friday after finding a suspicious package they thought might be a pipe bomb.

A caller notified police of the package, a 2-foot white PVC pipe with the ends covered in duct tape was called in around 5 p.m., and officials responded by treating it with extreme caution.

The Riley County Police Department shut down the roundabout at Fourth Street and Bluemont Avenue and the 400 and 500 blocks of Bluemont for two hours to assess a package that resembled a pipe bomb.

The bomb team showed up with a robot, which was equipped with an extendable robotic arm and camera, to get a better look at the suspicious device.

The Manhattan Fire Department also went around to all the nearby houses, warning residents to ‘not exit out front doors, stay away from their windows and only use the alley way.’ After the robot had punctured a hole in the side of the PVC pipe for better viewing, retired officer Ryan Runyan suited up in a bomb suit to further investigate the object.

‘Just because he is suiting up doesn’t mean the situation is any more dangerous than it was five minutes ago,’ said Matthew Droge, RCPD public information officer.

After Runyan inspected the item, officials determined that it was no more than some suspicious-looking trash.

‘We have no idea how it got there; there were no threats made,’ Droge said. ‘There is no reason for thought of further danger.’ Droge said the department would rather go through the process and be wrong than be wrong by not investigating a suspicious object and have something bad happen.

The road was reopened shortly after 7 p.m.

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