UNIONTOWN (KDKA) – A school science project tossed in the trash at a local gas station caused quite a commotion Wednesday afternoon.
A customer spotted two liter bottles taped together in the trash can between two gas pumps at the Shell Station on Morgantown Street around noon.
“There was a bunch of liquid inside of it. We weren’t sure what it was, so we called the authorities,” Jon Homer, a gas station attendant, said.
Police blocked off and evacuated a two-block area around the gas station while they investigated. The Allegheny County Bomb Squad arrived to assist.
A robot approached the trash can around 2 p.m. and removed the lid and plastic liner, then carried the bag away.
About an hour later, officials gave the all clear.
“The device was not a threat to the public,” Uniontown Police Detective Donald Gmitter said. “It was taken care of.”
Samples of the liquid were sent to the state police crime lab.
“We heard about the bombings last night and we just decided we’re not going to take a chance,” Homer said.
Tuesday night, there was an explosion at the Schiffbauer Tire Company on nearby Fayette Street. A surveillance camera picked up a man running through the parking lot at 11:30 p.m. Seconds later, the windows were shattered by an explosion.
ATF investigators are also looking at a car bombing on Pershing Court in Uniontown last week.
Wednesday evening, a local grandmother contacted KDKA-TV to say the object in the trash was a school science project by an 11-year-old girl. She said the girl’s mother got tired of the bottles – which contained green dye – in the back of her car and threw them out at the gas station.