Apparent pipe bomb explodes in Tampa

- An explosion shook an East Tampa neighborhood Wednesday afternoon. 

Local police and federal agents are investigating what they say was a pipe bomb blast in the backyard of a home. 

Luckily, no one was hurt and nothing was damaged in the explosion.

The blast went off just before 4:30 p.m., shaking houses and startling neighbors.

“And all of the sudden I hear this big 'bam, boom,' so I come out to see what happened, what’s going on,” said Noel Soto.

“It was one big, like, loud noise, so I knew it wasn’t a gun,” Lekecia Freeman said.

Members of the Tampa Police Bomb Squad were training nearby and rushed to the area. Officers set up a perimeter to figure out what happened.

“It was crazy, actually they closed the street off, both ends, they came out, they told everybody to go in the house, you know, don’t come outside right now, it was hectic,” said Freeman.

In the backyard of a home on East 17th Avenue, officers, along with ATF and FBI agents, found a small crater in the ground and the remnants of a pipe bomb.

“It’s basically PVC pipe, plastic PVC pipe, and if you stuff it with something that will explode, it will explode,” Tampa Police Spokesperson Steve Hegarty said. “It went off, there were no injuries, there’s no property damage or anything like that.”

The two men living inside of that home were detained and are being questioned about the bomb and explosion.

“At this point, it does not appear to be any ill intent, it appears to be not what they intended to have happened, so we’re trying to sort it all out,” said Hegarty. “Even if it was just mischief, or a prank, or they were just experimenting, that’s a problem.”

The blast could have easily done damage and caused serious injury.

Neighbors say the pipe bomb explosion is frightening.

“I’ve been here 28-years, I tell everybody the same thing, 28-years I never seen anything quite like this before,” Soto said.

“It’s very scary, it’s very, very scary to know that I live literally 500-feet away from where a bomb went off,” said Freeman. “That’s really scary.”

Police say there could be possible charges in this case, but so far, the two men being questioned have not been arrested.

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