Homemade bomb found in Northwest Austin

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by SHANNON MURRAY / KVUE NEWS and photojournalist SCOTT MCKENNEY

Bio | Email | Follow: @ShannonM_KVUE

kvue.com

Posted on May 3, 2013 at 6:42 PM

Updated Friday, May 3 at 6:42 PM

AUSTIN - A bomb was found in the alley behind a Northwest Austin business complex on April 22nd. Investigators with the Austin Fire Department are now looking for the person who made it.

A woman who works in the Springwood Business Complex on Pond Springs Road took her dog for a walk like she does every day when she noticed something near the dumpster in the back alley.

"Just to the side of it was this black-looking canister item," the woman, who wished to remain anonymous, said. "It didn't look alarming to me, it looked like trash. I considered picking it up and putting it in the dumpster. I feel very thankful that something told me not to."

Another employee in the complex also noticed it and they called police. No more than a half hour later, hazmat crews and a bomb squad surrounded the dumpster.

"It looked like something that someone would have put together in their garage," said Austin Fire Department Chief Arson Investigator Aaron Woolverton.

Chief Woolvertoon said they found a small container with a fuse.

"It's an improvised explosive device. It's homemade. Someone put proper components together and we're waiting on laboratory analysis to confirm it but our suspicions are that yes, it was indeed an explosive device someone attempted to ignite behind the business," he said.

The bomb contained ammonium nitrate, police said Friday, an explosive fertilizer ingredient.

Chief Woolverton said the suspects lit the bomb overnight after business hours and it self-diffused, still he worries the person who made it has bigger plans.

"It really reeks more of experimentation than someone trying to target or hurt somebody, but we don't know that for sure," he said. "For all we know it could be an experimentation designed to lead up to something that really is meant to hurt somebody."

"I'm not an alarmist type person and it just didn't occur to me that it was dangerous," said the woman who found the IED. "I think i may be a little more careful about what I choose to pick up and toss in the dumpster"

Austin police say since the bombings in Boston, they've received five calls of people reporting a suspicious object but this is the only legitimate explosive they've found.

Fire officials are still looking for the person responsible. If you have any information call the Arson Investigations Office at 512-974-0240.

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