Tuesday, 16 April 2024

Officials close down Highway 20 to deal with fake bomb

COLUSA COUNTY – A portion of Highway 20 was shut down on Wednesday as a bomb squad was called in to deal with what turned out to be a fake bomb.

The facsimile device was found by a Caltrans crew picking up trash along Highway 20 east of Highway 16 shortly before 10 a.m. Wednesday, according to California Highway Patrol Officer John Waggoner of the Williams CHP office.

Waggoner said the 8-inch-long object – found a short way off the roadway inside the Colusa County line – was constructed of PVC pipe, was a few inches in diameter and had caps on each end.

He said Caltrans immediately notified CHP, which in turn contacted the Butte County Sheriff's Office's explosives unit.

Waggoner said the bomb squad arrived at around 1 p.m., at which time the CHP completely closed down the highway.

He said Caltrans shut down traffic at Williams and CHP officers from the Clear Lake office diverted Highway 20 traffic onto Highway 16.

The bomb squad used a robot to help deal with the device, which they hit with a type of cannon that blew one side of it off, Waggoner said.

“They were able to see inside and saw that it was nothing,” said Waggoner, noting there were no explosives inside and no electronic device.

CHP's Ukiah Dispatch reported that the highway reopened shortly after 2 p.m.

Waggoner said such bomb scares aren't common occurrences.

“When we come across something like this we will take every precaution and make sure that it isn't an explosive device,” Waggoner said.

E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Follow Lake County News on Twitter at http://twitter.com/LakeCoNews and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lake-County-News/143156775604?ref=mf .

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