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Bomb Squad Investigates Explosion Outside Church

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RICHMOND HEIGHTS, MO (KTVI) - An explosion outside Immacolata Catholic Church in Richmond Heights is under investigation by police, federal agents and the county bomb unit.  The blast shook neighbors and their homes.

Police said a large amount of consumer grade fireworks was used to make the explosive device.  Brian McMahon heard the blast, "It was a big explosion."  It happened around 10:20 p.m. Monday night.  A woman who lives nearby said, "It was like a very, very loud crash of thunder."

Police canvassed the area and found nothing. Tuesday morning church workers discovered the damage the explosion caused. Two dumpers were damaged, one had a hole in it.  A parish grade school window was shattered. Captain Craig Mueller with the Richmond Heights Police said, "Right now it`s completely out of the blue and we`re not linking it to the church or school at all it`s in a very secluded area at the very far side of this parking lot."

Church officials said the parish has not received any threats or had any problems.  Authorities searched the grounds including the roof of the church look for evidence.  The glass top of a neighbor`s patio table was destroyed.  Captain Mueller added, 'We`d like to know obviously what the device was and how far the device carried and any other evidence that might indicate who set off the device.'

The explosion won`t soon be forgotten by people who live near the parish.  McMahon said, "My sister who lives right here called and said my windows just shook unbelievably." 

Captain Mueller said, "If anybody has any information related to hearing this, knowing someone in the area that maybe responsible, anyone bragging about such a thing please call the Richmond heights police department immediately."