Mid-City businesses alarmed by truck packed with explosives

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wwltv.com

Posted on February 25, 2013 at 11:10 PM

Updated Monday, Feb 25 at 11:22 PM

Tania Dall / Eyewitness News
Email: tdall@wwltv.com | Twitter: @taniadall

NEW ORLEANS -- The feds are taking over the investigation of a pick-up truck packed with eight explosive devices parked near a Mid-City bank.

The incident forced the evacuation of a two-block radius along Canal Street just after 9:30 a.m. Monday morning.

"When you find out it's real, it sets in and it's very scary," said Karen Mosca.

The scene along Canal Street turned out to very real as the bomb squad armed with remote controlled robots set up shop near the Whitney Bank. What is now being described as candle-like devices packed with a punch forced the evacuation of businesses, like Archer Chiropractic Center, where Mosca works.

"The proximity of the truck to our office building could have hurt us," said Mosca, who was forced to leave her office for at least four hours.

The NOPD says it all started when a detail officer spotted a suspicious Ford F-150 in the bank's parking lot. Police say that officer says he saw smoking devices and quickly called for help.

"We recovered a number of incendiary devices. We've taken those into custody. We're going to forward them to our forensics lab. They'll do appropriate forensic work, finger prints, trace evidence," said ATF Assistant Special Agent In Charge Robert Schaal.

ATF says the eight devices recovered --- one with a timer and fuse --- could have caused serious harm.

"It creates a hazard for someone just walking up to it and not knowing what they're going to encounter. It creates a hazard for the bomb technicians that go in to render these devices safe. It's very concerning," Schaal said.

ATF says it could take one to two weeks to determine what those explosive devices are made up of. Investigators are also trying to figure out a motive and potential target.

As forensics tests are run on those explosive devices, one nearby business is on alert.

"I'm pretty aware of things happening around me, but I think I'm going to be looking a little harder at anything out of the norm," said Mosca.

According to the NOPD, the truck was parked at the bank since Friday and its owner is being located.

Police say whoever committed the crime now faces federal jail time and fines.

 

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