Bomb squad investigates potential threat on bus

Tuesday, December 7, 2010 | 4:43 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA — The Mid-Missouri Bomb Squad investigated a potential bomb threat on a Greyhound bus passing through Columbia on Tuesday.

The squad did not find any suspicious materials in any bags or cargo on the bus, Columbia police spokeswoman Jill Wieneke said.


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A robot removed each piece of luggage from the bus. After the robot examined the luggage, three bomb technicians from the bomb squad examined the luggage by hand.

The Hazardous Device Unit, a black truck towing a detonator behind it, was on the scene.

The bus was parked on Range Line Street, which was closed from Vandiver Drive to Blue Ridge Road for the investigation.

Wieneke said the bus driver called 911 at 9:43 a.m. The driver told dispatchers that passengers felt uncomfortable because one man was making suspicious statements and talking about terrorist acts, Wieneke said.

Passengers identified the man who, Wieneke said, had been making suspicious comments. The 44-year-old man was taken to University Hospital, Wieneke later said in an e-mail. No arrests were made.

Police instructed the bus driver to stop on Range Line Street instead of at the bus station. They wanted a location with fewer people, Wieneke said.

Passengers went across the street to Wilson's Total Fitness. Wieneke said police planned to question the passengers about what they saw and heard.

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Louis Schneebaum December 7, 2010 | 5:23 p.m.

What does "potential bomb threat" mean? I thought there were "bomb threats" and then.. not bomb threats.

(Report Comment)
Kellie Kotraba December 7, 2010 | 10:41 p.m.

That's a good question — thanks for asking. As the reporter, my thought behind including "potential" was a desire to keep the facts in proportion. Based on my conversation with Wieneke, what the man had said on the bus was not a clear threat. It just seemed like it might be one, so law enforcement decided to take action as a precaution.

While I was on the scene, I also verified the use of that phrase to make sure I was presenting everything accurately.

Thanks again for joining the conversation.

(Report Comment)

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