Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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February 16, 2014

Explosive response team checks out suspicious Bluewell object

BLUEWELL — — Mercer County Sheriff’s deputies, State Police, Bluewell Volunteer Firefighters and a unit of the Bluefield Rescue Squad staged Saturday afternoon at both entrances of the Family Dollar Store at the intersection of Lorton Lick Road and U.S. Route 52, in response to a report of a suspicious object in the parking lot.

“Someone came in the store and said there was something laying out in the middle of the parking lot,” Sgt. A.W. Webb, hazardous device technician with the West Virginia State Police Explosive Response Team said. “It was a section of PVC pipe with caps on both ends like some people use as storage containers, but we can’t know that,” he said and emphasized reason to exercise extreme the caution in his work. “I’m going home tonight,” he said.

At approximately 2:48 p.m., the Bluewell Volunteer Fire Department blocked off the entrance to the parking lot from the Route 52 side while Deputy D.A. Furches secured the area around the object while Trooper B.R. Wood of the Princeton Detachment of the West Virginia State Police secured the Lorton Lick Road entrance to the business. A unit with the Bluefield Rescue Squad staged across Route 52 from the parking lot.

In spite of the frigid temperatures, the units held their positions after contacting the explosive response team in Summersville. The team arrived between 5:30 and 5:45 p.m., and at about 6:10 p.m., blocked traffic on Route 52, and Lorton Lick Road. They also established a perimeter. By that time, Deputies J.D. Gills  K.M. Saddler along with Trooper J.L. Morris arrived on the scene.

Webb said that he used “a remote opening tool” to open the device. “It was just in pieces when I saw it,” Gills said.

Traffic was released at about 6:45 p.m. and emergency responders left the scene.

– Contact Bill Archer at barcher@bdtonline.com

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