Bomb Scare Prompts Rush-Hour Closure of Freeway in Burbank

Police closed both directions of the Golden State Freeway for nearly two hours during rush hour Thursday afternoon after Caltrans workers discovered three suspicious-looking pipes on the southbound shoulder at Burbank Boulevard.

Although the pipes were detonated by Los Angeles County arson investigators for safety, they were determined to be nonexplosive, Sheriff’s Deputy Henry Garza said.

“It was a dud,” Burbank Officer Kerry Schilf said.

Garza said the pipes, found shortly before 2 p.m. and reported to Burbank police, may have fallen from a passing vehicle.


Although the pipes appeared not to have been equipped with wires or other detonating devices, arson investigators--who arrived on the scene shortly before 3 p.m.--shut down the freeway between Verdugo Avenue and Burbank Boulevard, because “you gotta be safe,” Garza said.

The incident also snarled traffic on many nearby surface streets.

The pipes were detonated about 4:45 p.m., and the freeway reopened shortly thereafter.