18-inch pipe bomb found near railroad tracks in Philadelphia neighborhood
The discovery comes after train derailments shook the country after these supposed accidents released hazardous and cancerous chemicals into the local environments, particularly in Ohio.
The PPD found the explosive device on Sunday, Feb. 19, at around 1:30 p.m., behind St. Dominic's Catholic Church in Holmesburg. Google Maps images of the area show that there is a rail line behind the church's massive cemetery, and that the area is right next to an elementary school.
PPD officials who spoke with local media outlets noted that a passerby found the pipe bomb and that the device was made with a PVC pipe filled with black powder and with capped ends.
Police immediately responded by shutting down a nearby road and calling in the Philadelphia Police Bomb Squad to safely take the pipe bomb away. They further noted that the device is now under analysis and bomb techs are working to disassemble it.
Pipe bomb could have endangered rail line
Father Edward T. Kearns, the parish priest of St. Dominic Church, noted that he does not believe the pipe bomb was directed at the church or against Catholics. More likely, he believes the person who placed the pipe bomb there was attempting to target the rail line itself.
"I don't think it was in connection to us," said Kearns. "It was behind us, not on our property, [but] on the other side of the railroad tracks." Kearns noted that, if the pipe bomb hadn't been a dud, it would have directly threatened the freight line that ran behind the church and the wider impact that would have caused following the catastrophic train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio.
PVC is NOT the choice of pros