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Bomb Found Outside IRS Building in Reno

December 19, 1995

RENO, Nev. (AP) _ A bomb found outside an Internal Revenue Service office could have caused significant damage or death if its fuse did not fizzle, authorities say.

An employee arriving for work Monday discovered the 30-gallon plastic drum behind a government vehicle in a side parking lot. The drum was left behind a blue Oldsmobile with federal license plates. It was not immediately known who drives the car or if that person was a target.

Laboratory tests were being conducted to determine if the bomb may have been a mixture of ammonium nitrate and fuel oil, the same combination used in the truck bomb that destroyed the Oklahoma City federal building in April. That bomb, weighing 4,800 pounds, killed 169 people

There were no injuries or damage. No arrests were made.

``Had it gone off and if it were in fact what some people suspect was ANFO or ammonium nitrate and fuel oil, it would have done significant damage to the vehicle and at least that corner of the IRS building,″said Bob Stewart, agent in charge of the local Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms office.

About 60 people were evacuated in the fourth such incident aimed at federal targets in northern Nevada in two years. They were to be back at work Tuesday.

The fuse had been lit but burned out before most of the drum’s contents could explode, police Lt. Ken Bunker said.

Officials said it appeared one of two caps on the top of the drum had been blown off, indicating at least some of the material inside had ignited.

The material was taken to the desert east of Reno to be destroyed.

The Bureau of Land Management building in Reno was bombed on Halloween 1993. The roof was heavily damaged, but the building was empty at the time.

On March 30, a pipe bomb slightly damaged the U.S. Forest Service office in Carson City. The building was unoccupied.

On Aug. 4, a pipe bomb tore through the parked vehicle of Forest Service District Director Guy Pence at his home in Carson City. He was away at the time but his family narrowly escaped injury.

No arrests have been made in any of the bombings.

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