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November 13, 2013 at 10:00 AM
The Associated Press
MEDFORD, Ore. — An explosive device that went off before dawn Wednesday and damaged the Jackson County prosecutor’s office in Medford, Ore., appeared to be a failed attempt to level the building, a police spokesman said.
The device shattered windows and damaged mainly the exterior of the building, said Lt. Mike Budreau of the Medford police. Nobody was hurt.
“I think that it’s safe to assume that had this bomb went off as it was intended to, it would have most likely destroyed most of the building, and we believe that was the intent of the suspect,” Budreau told the Medford Mail Tribune.
Budreau said the device included what appeared to be a propane tank that was found burning in front of the district attorney’s office after the explosion was reported about 4:30 a.m.
The device didn’t fully detonate, he said, leaving the tank as a valuable clue for investigators. “But it did catch fire and emitted a large flame until it eventually burned out,” he said.
Budreau says police are searching for a man who ran from an officer several blocks away.
“We’re not sure if that is going to be related to this case or if it’s going to be unrelated,” he said.
The resulting fire from the blast did not spread to nearby buildings. The office is part of a cluster of government offices in downtown Medford.
Police cleared a large area around the office out of fears there might be other explosive devices, but tightened the closed area after none was found. The district attorney’s office was closed for the morning.
October 24, 2013 at 10:33 AM
The Associated Press
YELM — The van that exploded Tuesday in Yelm was modified with a homemade system designed to improve gas mileage.
A 55-gallon drum in the vehicle blew up, critically injuring a man and a woman who were taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle with burns.
Sgt. Ray Brady told KIRO the couple were unable to speak to detectives.
The system reportedly was designed for the van to run on gasoline fumes.
August 26, 2013 at 1:35 PM
Firefighters and medics responded to the report of an explosion at the Evergreen State Fairgrounds about 1 p.m. today.
Reports from the scene indicate two people were hurt. Their condition is not known.
The cause of the explosion also wasn’t available.
February 27, 2012 at 5:27 PM
About 10 gallons of oil were spilled into Puget Sound outside Port Orchard Yacht Club after a 39-foot wooden boat sank and later exploded during efforts to salvage it.
Crews from the Washington State Department of Ecology are working to manage the spill, according to a news release.
Earlier Monday, five people were injured during efforts to salvage the boat, which sank Sunday.
A Kitsap Fire and Rescue official tells KOMO News that the boat had just been raised by salvage crews when its owner tried to hook up a bilge pump and a spark ignited nearby gas cans Monday afternoon.
Two of the victims had serious but non-life-threatening injuries and were taken by ambulance to a local hospital.
The explosion caused minor damage to the boat house and nearby boats. The Department of Ecology warned those living nearby that they may smell odors as a result of the spill.
February 24, 2012 at 11:56 AM
There is not points to locate on the map
The explosion and fire yesterday at the Alderwood Wastewater facility near Edmonds has been ruled an accident by the Snohomish County Fire Marshal’s Office.
The explosion rocked the site at 6315 Picnic Point Road at about 11 a.m. after propane vapors ignited.
A contractor was using a crane to lift a propane tank onto a truck. The tank, which held about 300 gallons of propane, was being placed onto the metal deck of the truck when a brass drain valve on the bottom of the tank broke off, releasing propane. The fire marshal estimates that it took about 45 seconds for the vapors to ignite.
Five people suffered burns.
The explosion also damaged two buildings under construction on the property. Damage is estimated at $1 million.
February 23, 2012 at 12:09 PM
Five workers were burned, one seriously, when a propane tank exploded at a construction site near Edmonds around 11 a.m. Thursday.
Harborview Medical Center reported all five victims “are going to be fine,” said spokeswoman Susan Gregg. Four are in satisfactory condition, and one will be transferred to intensive care with serious burns. She said the five victims, all men, were ages 31 to 48, and all had upper-body burns.
The accident happened at Picnic Point Wastewater Treatment Plant, which is under construction just north of Edmonds on Picnic Point Road.
Leslie Hynes, spokeswoman for the Snohomish County Fire Department, said the accident happened when a 1,000-gallon propane tank, which is about the size of a small car, was being loaded onto a truck for removal from the site.
The load apparently shifted, causing the tank to move unexpectedly, and a valve may have sheared off the tank, Hynes said. The truck driver “yelled for people to clear the area, and then the explosion occurred,” she said.
The fire spread to two buildings, as well as the truck and a portion of an adjacent wooded area, but was quickly contained, she said.
The propane tank was being used for temporary heating of the Picnic Point treatment plant building, and contained about 300 gallons, she said.
Joe Bolam, maintenance and operations director for the Alderwood Water District, said that when the tank blew, ”the fireball went through the building and that’s where most of the people got hurt. ”
Shawn Kiesling was working nearby and saw the explosion blow out the windows.
“It was pretty scary, probably the biggest fireball I think I’ve ever seen,” he said.
The treatment plant is being rebuilt by the Alderwood Water and Wastewater District, and is nearing completion. About 60 workers were onsite at the time of the explosion, Hynes said.
Students at Picnic Point Elementary, about a mile away, were being kept inside in case toxic chemicals were in the air, a spokeswoman at the school said. Some teachers on one wing of the school reported hearing the explosion, she said, but most didn’t see or hear anything.
When the explosion occurred, a woman who lives about a mile away from the wastewater plant said “it felt like an earthquake.” The woman, who did not give her name, said she did not see or hear anything.
Seattle Times staff reporter Emily Heffter contributed to this report.
About The Today File
The Today File is a general news blog featuring real-time coverage of Seattle and the Northwest. It is reported by the news staff of The Seattle Times and edited by Assistant Metro Editor Nick Provenza.
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