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Hoax bomb near gas line causes evacuation of Springfield building

The larger robot took the device to another location and appeared to be manipulating it to allow explosives technicians to examine the device. The bomb squad determined that what initially appeared to be dynamite and a cell phone was actually road flares and a recording device taped together. (SBG)

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. - People evacuated from a building in Springfield after an employee saw what appeared to be 2 sticks of dynamite attached to a cellphone next to a natural gas line, Springfield Police said.

The employee called police. Police evacuated 6 businesses in the area as a precaution.

The bomb squad responded and examined the device with the help of two remote-controlled robots.

The verdict? A hoax.

The "bomb" turned out to be road flares taped to a recording device.

Firefighters and police responded to the scene at 400 International Way and asked drivers to avoid the area.

Lt. Scott McKee said the device was found near a natural gas line in an area where employees of the Professional Credit Service call center in the building would take breaks.

The device is on top of a structure attached to the main building where employees often take breaks, McKee said.

McKee said the company terminated employees within the last month, and investigators are concerned this situation could be related.

The building was evacuated, and crews cut the power and natural gas to the structure while the explosives disposal unit responds to investigate.

The Metro Explosives Dispoal Unit, the local bomb squad, used robots to investigate the device.

There was no known note or threat, McKee said.

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