Iowa police detonate live pipe bomb found in parking lot of special election polling place

Melody Mercado, Des Moines Register
·2 min read

DES MOINES, Iowa — Police in Iowa on Tuesday recovered a live pipe bomb in the parking lot of a building being used as a polling place for a special election.

Lakeside Center in Ankeny, a suburb of the state capital of Des Moines, was evacuated after a suspicious device, later confirmed to be a pipe bomb, was found around 9:30 a.m., according to police. The incident disrupted voting for about three hours.

The facility was being used as a polling place for a special election in which the Ankeny Community School District asked for voters' approval of updated plans for how it will spend its revenues from the state's Secure an Advanced Vision for Education fund, a penny sales tax dedicated to capital improvement projects.

Local authorities, as well as the State Fire Marshal's Office and agents from the ATF and FBI, were on scene when the pipe bomb was "made safe" around 11:50 a.m., according to a news release.

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Responders donned bomb suits when they approached the device before attempting to detonate it, according to a Des Moines Register photographer on the scene. They yelled “Fire in the hole” three times before a small detonation was heard.

No injuries were reported, and no other pipe bombs have been located.

Polk County election officials said voting resumed around 12:30 p.m. They said polls in Ankeny would not be kept open later than regular closing time, 8 p.m., since voters in the district could cast ballots at any polling location.

No suspects have been identified, Ankeny Police Sgt. Corey Schneden said.

Contributing: Andrea Sahouri, Des Moines Register

Melody Mercado: Reach her at or Twitter @melodymercadotv.

This article originally appeared on Des Moines Register: Iowa police find live pipe bomb outside special election polling place