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Some children playing in a Lolo field found what appears to be a homemade pipe bomb on Wednesday, and Missoula County sheriff's detectives are seeking more information.

"It could have been a potentially dangerous deal," Sheriff's Lt. Rich Maricelli said Thursday. The two boys found the plastic cylinder in a vacant lot off Excalibur Way and took it home. The tube measured 6 inches long by 3 inches wide, with screw caps and a fuse on one end.

The boys took the thing apart and found it contained black gunpowder mixed with bullet casings, BBs and fishing sinkers. One boy's mother found the material and called her fiancé, who happened to be in the military. The man said it sounded like a pipe bomb, so the mother called the sheriff's office.

Maricelli said deputies have searched the field and not found any other bombs or bomb material. But they would like to hear from anyone who has information about the incident. The direct line to the Missoula County Sheriff's Department is 258-4810, or callers can speak anonymously to Crimestoppers at 721-4444

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Maricelli also warned anyone finding a similar device to leave it alone and call 9-1-1.

Reporter Rob Chaney can be reached at 523-5382 or at rchaney@missoulian.com.

 

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