Oklahoma Highway Patrol bomb squad has many duties
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol has had a bomb squad since 1972. Robots and tools help secure explosives.
They respond to such calls as a request to secure the route of President Barack Obama during his visit to the state or to pick up an old artillery shell in southern Oklahoma.
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Apr 6OHP bomb squad Capt David Moffitt talks about the history...
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The Oklahoma Highway Patrol bomb squad investigates potentially explosive situations three to four times a week, squad commander Capt. David Moffitt said. The squad was formed in 1972.
Bomb squad trucks contain protective suits made to withstand a blast, plenty of bomb disabling tools, an X-ray system and robots.
The trucks haul a heavy metal cylinder on a trailer for bomb disposal. The “bomb pot” contains the threat until it is driven away from the public.
It has “everything that we would need to deal with either an improvised explosive device or an unknown chemical threat,” Moffitt said standing outside the truck.
In Love County, someone found a dangerous war relic behind a Marietta convenience store. It could have exploded, Moffitt said.
It turned out to be a World War II 70 mm artillery shell, which was taken away and destroyed, he said.
“A lot of things were brought back from the wars, World War II, the Vietnam eras,” Moffitt said. “And then those things turn up nowadays and we get called regularly.”
He said not long ago the bomb squad had to remove improvised explosive devices from a gas pipeline in eastern Oklahoma.
If anyone sees something they think could be a bomb or could explode, it is best to get away from it first and call for help, he said.
“Leave that item alone,” Moffitt said.
People should call 911 and local authorities will contact the patrol's bomb squad.
“We can come out with the proper equipment and deal with that item,” Moffitt said.
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