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Bomb squad’s robot finds cause to celebrate

Posted on May 26 2009
News archive >> ODDITIES

Law enforcement agencies were called to the 5th District Courthouse in St. George, Utah, after an envelope deemed suspicious was found inside the courthouse. Deputy Chief Rob Tersigni, of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, said the envelope was X-rayed through the machine at the courthouse entrance to see what was inside, and deputies observed what looked like a battery with wires coming out of it.

The bomb squad’s mobile trailer became a communications centre in front of the courthouse as technicians deployed an approximately 6-foot-tall investigations robot. The robot slowly rolled up a ramp and past the court’s front windows to the pillar that hid the envelope from the street. Officers used the robot’s remote-controlled cameras to examine the envelope from within the trailer.

A St. George Police Department officer called “OK, fire in the hole.” A blast from the robot blew the envelope open and investigators again used the robot’s cameras to peer at its contents. Bomb Squad Technician Jason Whipple: “We deployed the robot for the initial assessment and mitigation. We opened up the package like we wanted, and there was nothing dangerous for people.”

It was later determined it was a singing birthday card.

The above report is reproduced from the Hazards Intelligence newsletter, HInt, with kind permission from Cris Whetton of ility Engineering.

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Last changed: May 27 2009 at 1:33 PM


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