DATE: May 3, 2004
INCIDENT TYPE: Suspicious
TYPE OF WORK ACTIVITY:
THE ACCIDENT: On April
28, 2004, crewmembers of the District 3 Sunrise Electric & Sunrise Bridge
crew boated out to the center of the river pier of the Pioneer Bridge.
They had climbed to the catwalk of the fender system around the pier.
As they were in the process of repairing the navigation lights on the
fenders, they noticed a suspicious looking object in the debris on the
catwalk at the North end of the fender system. The object was a piece
of approximately 6 inch long X 2-1/2 inch wide PVC pipe with caps on
both ends. It was wrapped with 2 wires (one black and one brown) and
the wires were attached to two small 2 inch square black rubber watertight
connectors that were partially buried in the debris. The suspicious
looking object looked like a pipe bomb so they contacted their supervisor
who in turn contacted 911and the CHP. The CHP responded and inspected
the object and determined there was something in it. They wrapped it
in a bomb blanket and removed it to a remote location where they X-rayed
it and determined that it contained a small amount of flash powder.
They then detonated it.
CONCLUSIONS: The CHP
bomb squad said that it was basically a poor attempt by a unknowledgeable
person to make a bomb but a very good call on the part of the Caltrans
ever hesitate to call on a suspicious object. It is better to be safe
than sorry. All employees should be reminded of the proper procedures
for handling suspicious items discovered during their work. Properly
identify any material or object before handling, it may be hazardous.
Also review your local list of people to contact when a suspicious item
is discovered. The discovery of an explosive device (or any other potentially
injurious item) should be treated in much the same manner as a hazardous
materials spill. For the basics of hazardous materials response always
remember the acronym SIN from first responder training:
S - Think
Safety (first, last and always)
I - Safely attempt to Isolate and deny entry
N - Make proper Notifications and request resources