It was not a pipe bomb that shut down a main thoroughfare in Superior for hours on Tuesday. But Mayor Jim Paine told KDAL that the object spotted outside the city’s fire hall was deemed a credible threat.
“That means that we can’t rule out that it’s a hoax. We got an actual suspicious device that could be a bomb. That’s what a credible bomb threat means.”
A Police Department robot was able to handle the device and determine it to be inactive, but containing a grainy residue. It will be sent to the Wisconsin Crime Lab for testing.
Paine said the incident highlighted the fact that the nearest bomb squad is more than three hours away, in Marathon County.
“I’m aware that there’s one at the airbase in Duluth, but that is part of the Minnesota Air National Guard and therefore can’t operate in Wisconsin right now. So we’ve got a little bit of a political challenge trying to make the partnership there, or a financial challenge trying to create a regional bomb squad that can serve us up here in the north.”
The pipe bomb was spotted by a passerby at about 9:15 AM on Tuesday, outside the city’s new fire hall. The response blocked off Tower Avenue/WI 35 for several hours.
KDAL contributed to this report