LONGVIEW — The scene of a bomb scare in Longview this morning has been cleared by investigators.
Various agencies were called to defuse an explosive device found this morning in a newspaper rack at a Longview restaurant. A robot was used to access the device.
The suspected bomb was not a bomb at all, according to Air Force Tech Sergeant Bart Matthews of Barksdale AFB. What was seen this morning by a person using the newspaper vending box was actual pieces of the vending machine hanging from the device by wires. It had apparently been left in that condition by someone who had done incomplete maintenance on the vending box, Matthews said.
Kristi Brian, Longview Police Department spokesperson, said the device was found about 7 a.m. just outside the IHOP restaurant on Loop 281 across from the Longview mall.
“We have evacuated the IHOP and the Luby's right behind the IHOP as we await the team from Barksdale (AFB),” she said.
Ms. Brian did not say how large the device was, but instead said “all we know is that it appears to be an explosive device.”
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms officials, as well as FBI investigators, confirmed they are headed to the scene from Tyler.
Additional details will be posted as they become available.
Updated Wednesday, July 25, 2012 at 11:18 a.m. CDT