Bomb found near Kelowna, B.C., highway was 'sophisticated,' but not part of a targeted attack: RCMP
Police are continuing to analyze an explosive device found near a fast food restaurant in Kelowna, B.C., on Monday to figure out its contents and intended purpose, according to RCMP.
Mounties said Tuesday investigators are running forensic tests on the IED, or improvised explosive device, which caused Highway 97 to be shut down for much of the day after a passerby found it in a grassy area outside a Wendy's restaurant.
"There's no evidence this was a targeted event," said Insp. Beth McAndie, acting officer-in-charge of the local detachment.
"We are still in the infancy of our criminal investigation. At this time, the IED appears to be sophisticated but its purpose is not known."
A portion of the highway, also known as Harvey Avenue, was closed between Spall Road and Cooper Road for more than seven hours. The closure was lengthy in part because local RCMP had to wait for a specialized explosive demolition unit to arrive from the Lower Mainland to deactivate the device.
McAndie said the team described the device as "sophisticated," but would not provide further details. She also declined to provide more information on RCMP's belief that the incident was not targeted, but said the device isn't believed to be linked "to any other incidents throughout the city or province."
"I'm not going to comment on the particulars of the device ... but we believe, had this device been activated, it would've been successful at detonating," she said after a brief 10-minute news conference.
She added the team deactivated the device without igniting it.
"I don't want to sensationalize the technique and I won't be getting into it that this team does, but it was not detonated, it was made safe," she said.
The lengthy closure backed up traffic through the city. The road is a major thoroughfare through Kelowna, acting as the city's main route to its airport and other cities in the South Okanagan.
Businesses and members of the public were asked to leave the area Monday as police waited for the device to be deactivated. McAndie said investigators will be looking to determine how long the IED was in the grass, as police believe it could have been there for "some time."
Incidents involving real bombs, rather than fakes, are relatively rare, she said.
"I'm [into] 26 years of policing and I would say that it happens on occasion that some of these are legitimate and others are just replicas and people interested in creating mischief," she said.