Phony pipe bomb shuts down Pharr International Bridge

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POSTED: Tuesday, March 5, 2013 - 3:28pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, March 6, 2013 - 8:26am

What looked like a pipe bomb stopped international traffic this morning at the Pharr International Bridge. Around 7:15 a.m. an on duty Pharr Police officer saw the object sitting next to toll booth one.

"a suspicious package that looked like a pipe bomb to him. On closer inspection, he determine it was a safety issue, at that point we closed down the bridge," said Sgt. Mirabelle Garza, Pharr Police.

Authorities then called in the McAllen Bomb Squad. They came in and picked up the potential pipe bomb and took it for further examination. Thankfully, the bomb was determined as non-lethal. But from the outside, the object looked real.

"Galvanized pipe between 10 and 11 inches in length with a cap on each end," said Chief Ruben Villescas, Pharr Police, when he was asked to describe what the fake bomb looked like.

Back at the bridge, Pharr Police are currently trying to figure out when the fake bomb was placed at the booth.

"Currently, we have cameras on the bridge, so the officers are going to go back and look at the cameras and they will start doing their investigation from that point," said Sgt. Garza.

With traffic back up and running, Chief Villescas said he is happy with how everyone reacted.

"I am very appreciative of the response that we received from the bomb disposal unit. That is a unit that serves this region of ours," said Chief Villescas.

ATF was also called in to assist.

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