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Thursday, April 25, 2019

Jefferson County pipe bomb
Jefferson County Sheriff Jeff Coffey says Old Andrew Johnson Highway was reopened at about 2:00 PM Wednesday following the discovery of a suspicious device. The Jefferson County E911 Dispatch Center this morning after 8 am, received a call regarding a suspicious device found at an AT&T distribution box on Old AJ Hwy just east of Strawberry Plains United Methodist Church. The preliminary investigation revealed a pipe type device lying at the base of one of the boxes. The sheriff said the device was found by an AT&T employee who had come to the site to do some work. Nearby residents were asked to shelter in place, however one resident who lives across the street from the site was evacuated. Rush Strong School also was placed on a shelter in place directive as a precaution. The Knox County Sheriff's Office Bomb Team responded to the scene and used a robot to remove the device which was taken to a nearby field and "rendered safe", the sheriff said. The device itself has been submitted to the federal Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Bureau for further analysis. Investigators say they have no idea how long the device may have been lying at the location before it was found. The investigation is continuing and Sheriff Coffey is encouraging anyone who has any information related to the discovery to contact the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office at 865-397-9411.

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