Live pipe bomb found at polling place in Iowa

ANKENY, Iowa (AP) – The discovery of an active homemade bomb at a central Iowa polling place while voters were voting in a special election forced the building to be evacuated, police said.

Officers who called the Lakeside Center in Ankeny around 9:30 a.m. Tuesday found a device that looked like a tube bomb in the grass near the center. Later, the police confirmed in a press release that the device was a homemade bomb.

The banquet hall was being used as a polling place for a special Ankeny School District election. Police evacuated the building and the state fire chief and agents from the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were called. Technicians safely detonated the device and the center was reopened around 12:30 p.m. M., Approximately three hours. after the device was discovered, police said. Nobody was hurt.

Polk County Auditor Jamie Fitzgerald described the device as a piece of metal with two end caps and said in a Twitter post that a couple walking their dog Tuesday morning had discovered the device.

“I also want to add that there is no way of knowing how long this device has been at the Lakeside Center,” Fitzgerald said in a tweet, saying officials do not know if the homemade bomb was related to the elections.

Fitzgerald and police said other polling places in Ankeny were searched and no other suspicious bombs or devices were found.

The investigation into who left the device continues, police said.


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