Dublin

Bomb scare at recycling center

Suspected IED was old art project

  • Police responded on Wednesday morning to the Dublin Recycling center for a suspected explosive.

    Police responded on Wednesday morning to the Dublin Recycling center for a suspected explosive.

  • Police responded on Wednesday morning to the Dublin Recycling center for a suspected explosive.

    Police responded on Wednesday morning to the Dublin Recycling center for a suspected explosive.

  • Police responded on Wednesday morning to the Dublin Recycling center for a suspected explosive.

    Police responded on Wednesday morning to the Dublin Recycling center for a suspected explosive.

  • Police responded on Wednesday morning to the Dublin Recycling center for a suspected explosive.

    Police responded on Wednesday morning to the Dublin Recycling center for a suspected explosive.

  • Police responded on Wednesday morning to the Dublin Recycling center for a suspected explosive.

    Police responded on Wednesday morning to the Dublin Recycling center for a suspected explosive.

  • Police responded on Wednesday morning to the Dublin Recycling center for a suspected explosive.
  • Police responded on Wednesday morning to the Dublin Recycling center for a suspected explosive.
  • Police responded on Wednesday morning to the Dublin Recycling center for a suspected explosive.
  • Police responded on Wednesday morning to the Dublin Recycling center for a suspected explosive.
  • Police responded on Wednesday morning to the Dublin Recycling center for a suspected explosive.

DUBLIN — Local and state police responded to the Dublin Recycling Center on Wednesday morning, responding to a suspicious device found in the trash there, which resembled an improvised explosive device, or IED.

The device was discovered by Recycling Center Superintendent Tom Kennedy at around 9 a.m. Kennedy contacted police and moved the device to an area behind the Recycling Center, away from buildings and residents dropping off their recycling. Police allowed operations at the center to continue, according to Police Chief Stephen Sullivan, once the device was removed from the immediate area.

Police, with assistance from the N.H. State Police Bomb Squad, determined that the device was not in fact an explosive, but simply an art project created by a graduate student of art, which was made to look like an explosive device. Kennedy said the device was about 6 to 8 inches long, but neither he nor Sullivan would give any further description of the device.

Police tracked down the person who had thrown away the old project, which was first made in 2007, and determined that there had not been any malicious intent in disposing of it at the Recycling Center.

“Unfortunately, before they threw it away, it wasn’t made not to look like an IED or pipe bomb,” said Sullivan. “During disposal, they should have taken care to make it look not like an IED.” While Sullivan noted that the person who had thrown away the old art project had been careless, police will not be pursuing criminal charges. “They had no malicious intent. They weren’t out to cause chaos, so we’re chalking it up to a stupid, idiotic mistake.”

There are a slew of charges that could have been relevant to a case like this, said Sullivan. There are criminal charges that can be levied for making even a fake IED, said Sullivan, and charges could also include disorderly conduct.

“When I was hired [as police chief] I spoke about teachable moments. This is certainly a teachable moment for someone,” said Sullivan.

Kennedy echoed Sullivan’s sentiments, saying, “Who’s to say it wasn’t [real]? It’s kind of stupid to just throw something like that away. If it was in a train station or an airport, it would have shut down the whole shebang.”

The bomb squad X-rayed the device and determined it was not a threat, but per procedure, destroyed the device on site. The Recycling Center was closed for approximately 10 minutes shortly before noon while the device was destroyed, said Sullivan, but was back to normal operations immediately after.

This is actually the second time this week Sullivan has had to contact the State Bomb Squad, he added. A piece of what is believed to be old military ordinance was discovered while sorting through boxes donated for an upcoming rummage sale, and a resident brought it to the Police Department for disposal. The Bomb Squad responded and disposed of the ordinance, said Sullivan.

Sullivan advises all residents that if they discover any device they believe to be dangerous, to leave it in place, and not touch or move it. Contact police, who will respond and take care of the disposal of the device on site, he said.

“Those are the keys. Everyone wants to touch it, see how much it weighs. Just leave it alone and contact us. Allow the people that know how to deal with it to deal with it,” said Sullivan.

Ashley Saari can be reached at 924-7172 ex. 244, or asaari@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter @AshleySaari.

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