Omaha police gave Channel 6 News a detailed look Friday at the complex pipe bomb found Thursday morning in a Memorial Park creek bed.
It was a triple pipe bomb, a pipe bomb inside a second pipe bomb inside of a third pipe bomb. The device was spotted in a ravine near the creek at the northwest corner of the park around 9:40 a.m. by a man walking his dog. Police don't know how long it had been there. It was later detonated. No one was hurt.
"It's definitely a device that's not commonly come across in our trade, so yeah, I would have to say its unique enough to pose a challenge to the bomb tech, but it wasn’t something we couldn’t handle,” said Sgt. Matt Manhart of the OPD Bomb Response Team.
Bomb squad members can’t say how big of a blast the device would have made had it gone off, but it would have caused serious damage. “I would have to say if you were in close proximity of that device and you picked it up and it detonated it would have killed you.”
One of the questions investigators are asking is what was the intent of the person who left the bomb next to a playground and walking trail in a public park. “I truly honestly believe that someone constructed this device with the intent to detonate it and it didn't function as they designed it, so they just left it,” said Sgt. Manhart.
Anyone with information about who might have left the pipe bomb is asked to call Omaha police at 402-444-7867.
The noise of rendering the device safe attracted the attention of Joe and Dee Reiser, concerned with a Catholic grade school to the south and Brownell-Talbot to the east. "It's close to a school and they just had the recess bell go off. I don't know if they called the kids in early or not, there were a whole bunch of them out there playing."
“At no point in time while we were working on that device was anybody in the neighborhood in harm's way, the nice thing was we did have a nice creek bottom to work in,” said Sgt. Manhart.
There are area residents who thought they heard an explosion Wednesday night. “We just heard something kind of like a tree branch or something, might have hit the neighbor's house or something, that was around nine o'clock,” said Trevor Henery.
"Because it was a loud noise and it shook me, that's what it did,” said Oscar Henery. “I just heard the noise, I asked my dad what it was and he said maybe it was a bomb going off."
“The way things are nowadays, nothing surprises me anymore," said Trevor.