UPDATE: Waterloo Police investigate library explosion - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UPDATE: Waterloo Police investigate library explosion


WATERLOO (KWWL) -- Several downtown Waterloo streets are back open after an explosion at the Waterloo Public Library. Investigators are trying to figure out who left a small, man-made bomb in one of the library's main areas.

"It is very normally a safe place to be, we've never had anything like this happen before," said Library Executive Director Sheryl McGovern.

Shortly before closing time Saturday afternoon, library workers, and a few remaining visitors, were jolted by a small explosion.

"A staff member called me about 5:00 and reported a small bomb had gone off in the library. They had called 911 and the police and fire responded right away," McGovern explained.

Everyone inside was evacuated, and McGovern immediately jumped in her car to find out exactly what had happened.

"I grabbed my shoes and keys, and headed down here. I was just glad to hear no one got hurt. There was no one in the area when it went off," she said.

Police did not find a suspect, but they did find a small, homemade explosive device on the first floor of the library.

"From what we understand right now, made out of a pop bottle, some aluminum foil, and something like Drano," said McGovern.

Even with the police cars surrounding the building, and several major streets blocked off, McGovern said she still believes her building is secure.

"We do, actually, have a security guard and security cameras. And it's my belief that if somebody's going to do something like this it's probably not really preventable. I think, ordinarily, most people don't do things like this, and ordinarily things are safe," she added.

Waterloo police are investigating the explosion. McGovern said she may keep the library closed Sunday afternoon, but it will definitely be open to the public Monday morning.

Online Reporter Colleen O'Shaughnessy

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