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April 2, 2013

Essex Police/Fire: Police clear station over 'explosive device'

Essex Police/Fire

ESSEX — A resident brought what proved to be an explosive device into the police station Saturday around 8:13 a.m. after finding it on a nearby walking path, leading to the station’s evacuation.

Police would not give the identity or address of the man who brought the explosive into the station, but the resident had found it on a path near Martin Street and tried to hand it over to police.

Police Chief Peter Silva said the device was believed to be homemade.

”This was different than anything I have seen,” he said. “It was a legitimate explosive device.”

First, the man tried to deposit the device into the dispatch window to hand over to police.

While unintentional, Silva said this was an error in judgement, as the man seriously endangered the lives of himself and police officers.

An agent from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and a state police officer from the explosive investigation section soon responded to the scene.

The building was evacuated, police officers and firefighters made sure the area was clear and the device was soon brought out into a field in back of the police department and was successfully and safely detonated by a adjoining marsh.

The area was cleared just before 10 a.m.. The Easter egg hunt, set for 10 a.m. on the adjacent field, went off as scheduled and was not affected by the device, Silva said.

Nobody was injured, Silva said the origins of the device are under investigation, it is not believed to be connected to the reported drug lab on Water Street.

Silva said that, if anyone should find an explosive device, firearm or anything of the sort, he or she should contact police first and not handle it themselves. He applauded the police department, fire department and other agencies for handling the device.

A false burglar alarm sounded off on Main Street Friday around 4:30 p.m., police said the building was secure.

Saturday around 1 p.m., a female Story Street resident was transported to Beverly Hospital.

Friday at 7:21 p.m. an Eastern Avenue female was transported to Beverly Hospital.

James Niedzinski can be reached at 978-283-7000, x 3455 or at jniedzinski@gloucestertimes.com.

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