The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that police, firefighters, and ambulances responded to reports of a bomb in a vacant Philadelphia lot on Friday morning. Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on how much pride you have on the line) it was just a prop bomb from a local theater's production of We Are Bandits.
Police evacuated nearby buildings and cordoned off the area with yellow tape while a bomb disposal expert approached the dumpster where the device was spotted. Bayla Rubin, of the Philadelphia theater troupe Applied Mechanics, told the Inquirer that she heard the controlled detonation and thought, "Oh my gosh. They just blew up our prop." From the Inquirer:
The prop in question? A length of PVC pipe, attached to a circuit board. It was used in the Bandits performance, which drew its inspiration from the 2011 Occupy movement.
After the show's run ended Wednesday, Rubin said, she instructed a fellow member to take the "bomb" to the Dumpster on 12th.
She said she had just worked a 14-hour day and "wasn't thinking clearly" when she gave the order to throw the very bomb-y looking prop bomb into the dumpster. After she figured out what happened, she went outside to explain the situation to the police, who the Inquirer reports "more relieved than annoyed."
The woman who came forward "was unaware of the fuss it would cause," explained Joseph Sullivan, chief of the city police's Homeland Security unit, who declined to identify her. "I believe she is sincere and contrite."
"It was a theatrical device that unfortunately was not disassembled before it was put in the trash. A very well-constructed theatrical device, I might add. It caused us a great deal of anxiety."