Pipe bomb explosion outside of Elmira home

New York State

ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – Elmira Police are investigating the explosion of a pipe bomb early Wednesday morning on the 500 block of Herrick Street.

Chief Anthony Alvernaz explained to 18 News that multiple units responded quickly to secure the scene and if the other explosives detonated, it could have been much worse.

“By talking with the investigators and the technicians, [if the other devices detonated] it definitely would have been a catastrophic loss in regards to that residence. Shrapnel and debris would have flown through the neighborhood… It could have been much worse,” Chief Alvernaz said.

Shortly before noon on Wednesday, a man was led out of the house by police wearing bullet-proof vests, but Elmira Police Chief Anthony Alvernaz tells 18 News that the man was not arrested in connection to the pipe bomb.

The man was placed into an unmarked car along with a box taken from the home.

On September 8 around 1:20 a.m., the Chemung County Communications Center received several 911 calls from various locations reporting hearing loud bangs, others reported hearing multiple gunshots on Elmira’s southside. Officers were called to the Herrick Street address for reports of a backpack having been “blown up.”

Officers located a backpack located in a front yard which clearly had damage consistent with an explosion with items scattered about the yard. 

Police say several homemade type pipe bombs were seen inside this bag and the area was immediately evacuated.

A New York State Trooper and a bomb detection K9 were called to the scene and the backpack was checked by this K9. Police say the investigation found more suspicious packaging, materials, and substances inside the backpack.  These suspicious items and materials were collected by the Bomb technician because they were deemed hazardous.

No one was injured as a result of the explosion and it is believed the intended target was known to the subjects responsible.  At this time it is not believed this is a random act and the public is not in immediate danger.

The Elmira Police Department is asking anyone with information or that may have witnessed this incident to call 607-737-5626 or anonymously to 607-271- HALT. The Elmira Police Department was assisted by the NY State Police.

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