OKAWVILLE, Ill. — Okawville residents living in a four-block area were surprised when police asked them to leave their homes Monday night. A resident fishing for scrap metal in Madison County found the device but did not notice its potential danger until arriving home.
“It was basically wrapped in duct tape and then when he brought it home and cut the duct tape off of it, he found what he believed to be a pipe bomb inside of it,” said Chief Steve Millikin, Okawville Police Department.
Two units specialized in potentially hazardous situations responded. A canine from Scott Air Force Base detected explosives, according to Milliken. He said the device was safely removed by the Illinois Secretary of State Police Hazardous Device Unit (HDU).
A spokesperson for the agency said through an email, “The HDU removed the item to a safe location and took X-Rays, the results of which proved inconclusive. The item is currently in a secure location and HDU investigators will perform additional tests to determine the nature of the device.”
Millikin said the resident who discovered the device did the right thing by contacting police once he realized what he found.
“No one was hurt. Thank goodness,” said Millikin. “All the people who were here that had to be evacuated, everyone cooperated very well, and we need to thank them for that.”
Police have not disclosed the location where the man found the device.