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State Police: Device Found In Derry Twp. 'Could Have Killed Somebody, There's No Doubt About That'

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DERRY TOWNSHIP (KDKA) -- State Police in Westmoreland County are looking for the person who left an apparent explosive device in a Derry Township man's yard.

Police were called to Longview Court around 2:45 p.m. Monday afternoon for a caller who reported that "there appeared to a pipe in his yard that he thought might be rigged up as a bomb."

According to state police, the trooper who responded to the scene, took some photos of the device from a safe distance, which were then analyzed and then the call went out for the bomb squad to respond.

The State College Hazardous Device Unit was brought in and determined that it was "some type of device that was set up as an explosive."

(Photo Courtesy: Charles Miller)

Several neighbors were evacuated, and a few who could not be moved due to health reasons were told to move to a safer place in their homes.

"After several hours, they were able to remove this device, take it to a field and then detonate it, so it was safe for everyone in the community," said Trooper Stephen Limani, of Pennsylvania State Police.

Watch the full state police news conference here:


No injuries were reported, but officials say the device was clearly dangerous.

"Based on the analysis from the Hazardous Device Unit from State College, this was definitely a device that had the ability to explode if there was some type of detonator put to it. There was speaker wire that was coming out of it, it was sealed and it definitely had an explosive chemical inside," said Trooper Limani. "This device could have killed somebody, there's no doubt about that."

State Police say the man who lives in the home, Charles Miller, told them he does not remember the device in his yard before the snow fell Sunday night into Monday morning.

Miller is a Navy veteran, and he says as soon as he got a look at the object, he remembered his training when it comes to this type of object.

"It's better off to stay alive and watch what you touch," he said.

Troopers are looking for someone in the area who may have seen anything or anyone suspicious.

"From our investigation right now, we don't have a lead, which is another thing that we're concerned about," Trooper Limani said. "He's a 71-year-old man, so for him to have somebody that's trying to target him or somebody that doesn't like him, it's not something we're able to find out right now or explore. But we are hoping somebody in that area saw something unusual, saw somebody maybe near his residence and will come forward and contact the Pennsylvania State Police here in Greensburg."

"I have no idea. I don't think I have any enemies," Miller said.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to call them at 724-832-3288. They do accept anonymous tips, but are hoping someone will come forward and offer them detailed information.

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