Andros F6a Robot (product photo)
Cops: Bomb robot saved our lives
Porter County robot damaged, under repair
This story ran on Friday, October 7, 2005 12:40 AM CDT
bomb-handling robot that was damaged Wednesday while working on an
explosive inside a suspect’s car may have saved the lives of the
responding police officers.
for having a robot, this could have been a deadly situation for law
enforcement,” said Lt. Chris Eckert of the Porter County Sheriff’s
Department Bomb Unit.
County’s Bomb Unit -which serves all of Northwest Indiana- responded
to the Wednesday night call of a bomb in a stopped vehicle on Cline
Avenue, north of Columbus Drive in East Chicago.
said he directed the Andros F6A robot to approach the bomb and
attempt to render it safe, But while the robot was doing its job,
the bomb somehow detonated, destroying the car and damaging the
robot. Eckert stressed that their intent was to render the bomb
safe, not detonated it, but detonation can happen.
robot, which looks like its been through war, is still functional
but will require repairs, Eckert said. A Homeland Security grant of
more than $100,000 allowed the department to obtain the robot in
to getting the robot, bomb unit members often had to approach a bomb
themselves something that could have been deadly in Wednesday
technology we’ve got obviously paid dividends,” Porter County
Sheriff David Reynolds said.
robot was damaged, but we can always fix the robot.”
said the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is
joining local law enforcement to investigate what the bomb was made
of and what caused it to detonate. It’s too early to speculate,
Eckert said, adding car and bomb fragment flew hundreds of yards.
Nobody was injured because an area around the bomb was evacuated,
although Eckert said he felt the shock waves from the massive
a 14-year member of the Bomb Unit, said this is the first unexpected
explosion he’s been involved with.
train to expect it, but we try to avoid it,” Eckert said.
he said that “everybody went home safe.”
County’s Bomb Unit is one if 12 accredited units in Indiana. It
responds outside the county as part of the same mutual aid
agreements that allow, for example, a Lake County police helicopter
to fly to Porter County to look for fleeing suspect.
The car after the explosion
The Sheriff's Andros F6A after the explosion