WIUM Tristates Public Radio

IFC Plant Evacuated; Bomb Threat Discovered

Jul 21, 2015

Iowa Fertilizer Company's new production plant near Wever was evacuated at around 11:00 A.M. Tuesday.  The evacuation came less than a day after a bomb threat was discovered in a portable restroom on the construction site.

Lee County Emergency Management Coordinator Steve Cirinna confirmed the evacuation.  He could not say what prompted it, adding that the Lee County Sheriff's Office did provide traffic control. 

A representative of Iowa Fertilizer Company contacted Tri States Public Radio late Tuesday afternoon.  He said information would be provided as it becomes available, adding that he could not confirm anything about the status of the plant.

The Lee County Sheriff's Office said it received a call from IFC about the threat at about 2:45 P.M. Monday.  The statement "a bomb will go off tomorrow at 12:00" had been etched into the wall of the restroom.

Sheriff Jim Sholl said in a news release Tuesday morning that IFC's 36-person safety team conducted a search of the property, but did not find any suspicious packages.

Vehicles were inspected, prior to the evacuation Tuesday morning.  Sholl said the searches did not turn up anything, but they did back up traffic on Highway 61 for much of the morning.

Sholl said the plant is not yet in operation and that no product is being manufactured at this time.  He added there are no gas storage tanks or other storage tanks containing any volatile or combustible materials.