Authorities detonate pipe bomb in Cedar Falls

CEDAR FALLS – Authorities on Tuesday safely detonated a pipe bomb found in a storm drain near a Cedar Falls neighborhood, but it’s unclear when the device was placed there.

A bomb squad from the Waterloo Police Department used a robot to pick up the bomb from a yard in the 2300 block of Royal Drive, the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reported. It was carried to another yard, where sandbags were set up for safe detonation.

Two city maintenance workers were clearing storm drains Tuesday morning when they discovered the pipe bomb below a manhole, said Cedar Falls Police Chief Jeff Olson. They set the device down on a lawn and alerted authorities.

Olson said it wasn’t clear how long the pipe bomb was in the storm drain. He described the device as being made of metal and PVC.

“We really don’t know at this point,” he told The Associated Press. “It could have been there a few days, it could have been there a few weeks.”

Authorities set up a perimeter and evacuated residents for several hours. A nearby day care went on voluntary lockdown.

Olson said authorities will interview residents to look into how the pipe bomb ended up in the storm drain.

George Pfalzgraf, who lives near where the pipe bomb was found, praised police for being cautious.

“Police have to be right 100 percent of the time on these kinds of things,” he said.