There were some tense moments on a sunny Castaic street Friday as bomb squad technicians used a robot to recover a “suspicious piece of pipe” from between two parked pickup trucks, then detonate the pipe under sandbags by an empty curbside.
A little more than two hours after members of the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department’s Arson/Explosives Detail were notified, the situation was diffused.
At least 10 homes on the 28800 block of Oak Valley Road, a block west of The Old Road, were evacuated as a precaution.
“At about 10:23 a.m., one of the residents who lives here was driving slowly down the street and noticed a suspicious object,” Dep. Joana Warren said. “It looked like a metal pipe and it was near a (truck).
“Arson/Explosives was notified and rolled out here to make sure. We evacuated a few of the residents, doing door-to-door knocking. Most people were at work.”
Shortly after 12:15 p.m., a robot rolled out of a bomb squad truck and travelled west up Oak Valley.
At 12:38 p.m., it moved between two black pickup trucks, retrieved the object and travelled. east on Oak Valley to a small pile of sandbags assembled there by bomb technicians.
After 10 minutes of the robot arm lifting up and then lowering to the bottom of the sand bags, one of the bomb technicians yelled “Fire in the hole, Fire in the hole.”
At 12:51 p.m., a loud muffled bang was heard down the street and small puff of smoke was seen at the sandbags.
The robot returned to the bomb truck, rolled up the ramp as a bomb technician walked to the sandbags, inspected them and returned.
“The robot approached the object and rendered it safe,” Warren said.
“They found it to no longer be suspicious,” she said. “It was not an explosive.
“If something looks suspicious, definitely give us a call,” Warren said. “Better to be safe than sorry.”
When deputies learned of the suspicious object, as a precaution, deputies they blocked off Oak Valley Road at both ends, Lt. Ignacio Somoano said.