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Work order mistaken for pipe bomb

Register • Jun 12, 2013 at 10:07 AM



Somewhere there is an overgrown tree in need of an overdue trim.

A work order from a tree-trimming business caused quite a stir Tuesday on Ohio 2, when the container it was stored in was mistaken for a possible pipe bomb, closing down part of the highway and backing up traffic for about two hours.

An Ohio Department of Transportation employee was searching for a deer carcass in the grass along the eastbound lane of Ohio 2, when he stumbled upon the suspicious container and alerted authorities.

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Troopers from the State Highway Patrol, along with Erie County deputies responded shortly after 11 a.m. and closed down the eastbound lanes between Ohio 61 and 60, while they awaited the Lorain County Bomb Squad.

Despite its harmless contents, the man who found the container had every reason to be concerned— a white PVC pipe, capped on both ends with a yellow cord poking out— is hardly a common roadside fixture.

The bomb squad set up shop 500 yards away from the “device” and sent in a remote-controlled robot to determine if it was explosive, but could not make any conclusions one way or another. They then used the robot to set off a small detonation intended to disable live bombs, blowing the foot-long pipe apart.

Deputies and troopers retrieved the remnants of the pipe and found within a tree-trimming work order, dated January of an unknown year. When deputies contacted the listed business, Asplundh Tree Expert Company, later Tuesday, they confirmed their use of the pipes as waterproof document containers at work sites.

Deputies and troopers re-opened the eastbound lanes of Ohio 2 shortly after 1 p.m.

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