A suspicious item found last week at a natural gas transmission facility in Washington County, which authorities initially thought was a bomb, turned out to harmless.
The “improvised homemade” device was wedged into the door of an industrial pipe inside the fenced-in facility at 274 Redds Mill Road in Fallowfield Township, state police said in a press release issued Sunday night.
The state police’s bomb squad and FBI both responded and removed the object from the facility after it was discovered Thursday morning. But upon closer inspection of the item, it was determined not to be an explosive device as originally feared, FBI spokesperson Catherine Coennen said.
“Both agencies worked together to determine whether there was a threat to the facility or neighborhoods around it,” Coennen said. “Ultimately, the object was determined not to be explosive and was cleared. There was not a threat to the facility or community.”
Police did not say who discovered the object on the three-acre property that has pipelines protruding from the ground near several buildings. It’s also not known how it was placed inside the gated facility, which is surrounded by fencing and topped with barbed wire.
A state police spokesperson said Monday that the FBI’s field office in Speers has taken over the investigation. Coennen said the investigating is continuing, but declined to elaborate on whether the object was intentionally fashioned to look like a bomb.
The facility is owned and operated by Eastern Gas Transmission and Storage, which is a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Energy Co. Spokesperson Samantha Norris said the company is cooperating with authorities investigating the incident, but declined to offer details about the incident or what was found at the facility.
“We are committed to the safety of the communities we serve, our team members, and the critical infrastructure we operate,” Norris said in a written statement.
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