Four pipe bombs found in club on The Block

Businesses evacuated

police remove explosives

May 24, 1999|By Kristine Henry | Kristine Henry,SUN STAFF

Patrons and employees of several show bars and other businesses on the The Block were evacuated from the area early yesterday after four pipe bombs were found inside a strip club.

Police were notified by a bartender at 12: 45 a.m. that an anonymous caller had informed the Diamond Lounge, a strip club at 415 E. Baltimore St., that a bomb wrapped in brown plastic was inside the club. An unidentified employee found the package by a cigarette machine.

Bomb squad technicians and police dog units responded and the four bombs, which were bundled together, were removed and "rendered safe," said Sgt. Scott Rowe. a police spokesman.

Rowe said it was not clear when or if the bombs were set to explode, or how much damage could have been caused.

No injuries were reported.

Paul Sherwood, a bartender at Chez Joey, next to the Diamond Lounge, said he was told by fellow employees when he arrived for work yesterday afternoon that every business on the one side of the street was evacuated shortly after the explosive device was found.

"We had a pretty large crowd in here at the time," Sherwood said, "and I was told when I came to work yesterday that the entire south side of the street was ordered evacuated."

A bartender at Dynasty Show Bar down the street said a Diamond Lounge employee removed the bomb from the building and placed it in the alcove of a building across the street.

The bartender, who wouldn't give his name, said the scene on The Block was relatively calm, with police evacuating one club at a time and ordering people to move westward in the pouring rain.

The anonymous call was made at a pay phone at Baltimore and Calvert streets, Rowe said.

Rowe said police have no suspects.

Sun staff writer Richard Irwin contributed to this article.

Pub Date: 5/24/99

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