BOARDMAN, Ore. – A pipe bomb discovered by two Eastern Oregon women had a potential blast radius of at least 100 yards and might have damaged a trailer home park if it had exploded, an Oregon State Police detective said.
"It wasn't a really (an) advanced device but it was something somebody took some time to build, and it was fairly ingenious," Det. Dennis Wagner told the East Oregonian newspaper.
The women found the pipe bomb Saturday while helping to clean up Boardman on Community Pride Day. The device had explosive powder and 4-inch nails to create shrapnel.
Investigators have yet to identify any suspects, said Rick Stokoe, chief of police in the Columbia River town of 3,500 residents. The bomb could have killed someone, he said.
The women, who have not been identified, found the device about six feet to the side of the road. The trailer park is at one end of the boulevard, creating foot traffic, but there are no homes and businesses in the area where the bomb was found, Stokoe said.
"It you were trying to do something like (a Boston Marathon-type bombing), that would not have been a good place to put this," Stokoe told The Associated Press on Wednesday. "You're not going to get that `wow' factor. If this was a device a terrorist was going to set off, it just wouldn't be put there."
Stokoe said the bomb's location makes him suspect it was thrown from a car window. Regardless of how or when it got there, the bomb was unlike any the chief has seen in his 23 years of law enforcement.
"I've seen a few pipe bombs over the years," he said. "I've just never seen them with any kind of shrapnel inside of them. Usually kids just put them together and they blow things up."
The bomb was discovered a couple weeks after two men near the Eastern Oregon city of Ontario were seriously injured when a homemade bomb exploded.