Friday, September 08, 2006


Busy morning...

I thought I was going to have a nice, quiet Friday to clear off the extra things I've got lying on my desk, but it was not to be.

At about 8:30 a.m., I got a call from Stu Steiner, a professor in our computer science department asking me why his building was cordoned off and cops and fire trucks were pulling up and closing the street. I went down to the president's office and quickly got briefed before walking across campus to the scene.

Seems somebody thought making a fake pipe bomb would liven things up on a lazy late summer morning at EWU.

A custodian found the "suspicious device" in a trash can near the door by the balcony entrance to the Computer and Engineering Building. Police were notified and the "device" was removed from the building and placed on the lawn in front of the building while the the building was evacuated and the Spokane County bomb squad was called.

The TV crews started to arrive at about 10 a.m. and over the next couple hours the bomb squad arrived and then used the robot to disrupt the "device." There was no secondary explosion after the discharging burst, so that indicated the device was not a bomb.

After the police declared the scene safe and secure, I got a look at the "device." It was a 1-inch diameter metal pipe, about 10 inches long, that had been stuffed with mud and dirt and capped on the ends with some red rags and then wrapped in bubble wrap.

The event caused some disruption on the west side of campus, as Washington Street was closed off between 7th and Elm streets and Cadet Hall, Cheney Hall and the Physical Ed Building were all evacuated and closed while the cops went about their business.

Things went very smooth from a safety standpoint and the media was very professional in how they gathered the story without getting in the way, even though the shots they could get with their cameras weren't the best.

Here's the first press reports of the incident:


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