TERRE HAUTE, Ind. — A police bomb squad deactivated two improvised explosive devices discovered near a public park on Tuesday, and a nearby elementary school was locked down as a precaution.
The devices were found in an open area by a city parks department employee. Park Superintendent Eddie Bird told the Terre Haute Tribune Star that the employee picked up one of the devices, placed it on a tractor, then drove it to Maple Avenue Nature Park, where two other employees examined it and decided to call the police.
Both bombs were deactivated by officers from the Indiana State Police’s Explosive Ordinance Disposal team.
Officials said it was impossible to tell how long the devices had been in the park before they were found. Bird described one of the devices as having a fuse that looked as if someone had tried to light it.
A nearby elementary school was placed on lockdown as a precaution. Vigo County School Corporation Superintendent Dan Tanoos said students at Ouabache Elementary School were moved to the west part of the building. The school is located across the street from the northeast edge of the park. He said no threat had been made to the school.
“We did have some parents call the school with what we thought could have been a little bit of misinformation,” Tanoos said at a news conference. “So we had to do some crowd control from our end with parents. We did send some releases out via our telephone system.
“We want to err on the side of caution,” Tanoos added.
As of Tuesday afternoon, police were not actively seeking a suspect in connection with the discovery of the bombs.
Chad Hilton, a bomb technician with the Indiana State Police, said the devices had a probable blast radius of 50 yards and could have caused significant injury to anyone nearby if they had detonated.
Information for this story was reported by the Terre Haute (Ind.) Tribune-Star.