2014-11-27 / Front Page

Highway 49 South reopens

Monday, Dec. 1, 2014 2:40 p.m. - At around 2:30 p.m. this afternoon Highway 49 South reopened after being closed since late morning from a possible pipe bomb threat.

According to local CHP Commander, Rebecca Hagen, at approximately 11:08 this morning, a citizen called the sheriff's office to report the discovery of what appeared to be a pipe bomb.

After being contacted by the sheriff's office, since the incident was occurring on a state highway, CHP secured the area and closed the highway.

The Merced Police Department Bomb Squad was summoned to the incident.

Once on scene, the bomb squad used a remote control robot to blast the device with a water cannon, which destroyed it.

Hagen reported that the device was made of PVC and was approximately two inches in diameter with caps on each end and a cord extending from one cap. After the device was blasted by the water cannon it was discovered to be a container for
welding rods, which probably fell off of a work truck.

In an unrelated incident, Hagen reported that the courthouse in Bass Lake had been evacuated due to a bomb threat and the Merced bomb squad had been requested. She also said an individual was in custody regarding that threat.

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