Following the discovery of an active pipe bomb Tuesday evening in Palm Springs, authorities blocked off part of East Palm Canyon Drive and urged residents to avoid the area at Southridge Drive and Rim Road.
Palm Springs police Sgt. Marcus Litch said the department received a call just after 4:45 p.m. about the device, which was found near the Araby Trail parking lot off East Palm Canyon.
“We came out and investigated and it appears to be a possible pipe bomb so we closed down the area and requested the (Riverside County) sheriff’s department’s hazardous device team to come out and take a look at it,” Litch said.
Authorities later described the device as a “live and active” pipe bomb.
“It was just sitting there in the dirt. A hiker found it,” Litch said of the device that he said looked similar to PVC pipe and was about 3 to 5 inches long.
The parking lot was soon cordoned off and the sheriff’s hazardous device team eventually arrived.
Just after 8 p.m., a loud bang that sounded like something striking a plastic bucket was heard.
Not long after that, the portion of East Palm Canyon from Cherokee Way to Escoba Drive that authorities had closed was reopened.
No injuries were reported.
Nearby residents such as Joe Dietz, 59, watched with some interest Tuesday.
Dietz, who said he lives just west of where the device was found, along the south side of Palm Canyon was “a little bit concerned” about the explosive.
He said he mostly noticed the lack of traffic and that made him wonder about what was happening.
He compared the absence of vehicles in the usually highly traveled area to the void that took place during the early days of the coronavirus pandemic when people stayed home.
“You didn’t hear any traffic at night. Very eerie,” he said.