Pipe bomb origins, target remain unknown

Palm Springs police continue to seek answers to exactly how and why a “live and active” pipe bomb was placed at a popular trailhead Tuesday evening.

“PSPD does not know the origins of this explosive device or the intended target(s),” the department said in a statement released on Facebook Wednesday. “The Sheriff’s Explosive Ordinance Team took possession of the device and will now conduct a forensic analysis to assist PSPD investigators in this investigation.”

A pipe bomb was discovered Tuesday evening near the entrance to Araby Trail at Rim Road off East Palm Canyon Drive.

Police were alerted to the suspicious device at the start of Araby Trail off East Palm Canyon Drive by a member of the public who called 911 shortly before 5 PM. They responded to the area and blocked traffic while the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department Hazardous Device Team “rendered safe” the pipe bomb. Roads were back open by 8:30 PM.

While several questions about the pipe bomb remain unanswered, and there have been no additional reports of suspicious devices at other trailheads or elsewhere in the city since this incident, officials said the public should always be aware of their surroundings.

“If you see something suspicious, say something,” they wrote. “Report suspicious items, people and or vehicles to your local police department immediately. The police department will respond and evaluate each circumstance and determine if a threat to the public exists.”

FUEL SPILL: The Palm Springs Fire Department and ARFF (Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighting) responded to a fuel spill near Palm Springs International Airport Wednesday around 4 PM. Officials said nearly 700 gallons spilled after a truck pumping diesel into the tanks of a fuel station in the 100 block of Gene Autry Trail experienced a mechanical issue. Riverside County Environmental Health responded and cleaned the spill shortly after it was reported.

MEASURE J MEETING: The regular meeting of the Measure J Commission will be held tonight, Feb. 18, at 5:30 PM. The agenda and call-in instructions can be found here. The Commission was created to review and make recommendations to the City Council on the use of funds generated by the implementation of Measure J, a 1 percent transactions, sales, and use tax.

CORONAVIRUS: Six additional cases and no new deaths were reported in Palm Springs by county officials Wednesday. In the meantime, a vaccine clinic continues at the Palm Springs Convention Center, 277 N. Avenida Caballeros, from 8 AM-5 PM. Vaccines will be administered to anyone eligible, Monday through Friday, but by appointment only. Appointments can be reserved online at www.rivcoph.org/COVID-19-Vaccine. The Convention Center is just one of several places vaccines are available. Find community providers such as pharmacies here.


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