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Bomb threat temporarily closes BNSF yard in Barstow

(The following story by David Heldreth appeared on the Desert Dispatch website on July 13, 2009.)

BARSTOW, Calif. — The BNSF Railway yard in Barstow was evacuated for more than four hours after a bomb threat was found at the yard Sunday night, but no bombs were found in the area.

City spokesman John Rader said BNSF employees reported a bomb threat to the Barstow Police Department after two written threats were found in employee bathroom stalls at 11:50 p.m. Sunday. The threat said bombs were strategically placed in two BNSF buildings to "kill them all” according to Rader.

Rader said the buildings were evacuated and a 300-yard perimeter was set up around the buildings. Bomb dogs from the Marine Corps Logistic Base were called in by the police and were unable to locate any explosive devices. The yard was reopened at 4:21 a.m. according to Rader.

BNSF spokeswoman Lena Kent said around 90 BNSF employees were evacuated and the yard was shut down after the bomb threat. The main rail line through Barstow was also closed for an hour, according to Kent.

“The closure of the main line had minimal impact on operations,” Kent said. “We run trains throughout the day, but there weren’t many trains at that time.”

Kent said the threats were being investigated by BNSF special agents.

To report information relating to the incident, call the BNSF special agents at 1-800-832-5452. To remain anonymous, call WeTip at 1-800-78-CRIME or visit www.wetip.com.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

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