, Corbin, KY

February 22, 2013

Woman arrested for W’burg bomb threat

The Times-Tribune

CORBIN — By John L. Ross, Staff Writer

Extradition was waived by a Jellico, Tenn. woman facing felony charges after a bomb threat at Williamsburg Plastics Thursday.

No one was injured and no bomb was found.

Amanda Lorine Rogers, maiden name Johnson, 30, remains jailed in the Whitley County Detention Center.

She faces one second-degree terroristic threatening charge, which is a felony.

On Thursday, an employee of Williamsburg Plastics received the phoned-in threat just before 9 a.m., according to Whitley County Sheriff Colan Harrell.

That employee contacted 911 dispatchers at 9:13 a.m.

“The female caller related (to the plant employee) they had planted a bomb,” Harrell said.

Between 90 and 100 first-shift employees were immediately evacuated from the plant, according to Plant Manager Tom Anspach. Factory Lane, the road to turn into the plant parking lot from U.S. 25W, was barricaded.

Employees were moved back from the building, and crews with the Williamsburg Fire and Rescue Department, the Whitley County EMS, Goldbug Volunteer Fire Department and Woodbine Fire Department assisted at the scene.

Also on hand to assist was the Williamsburg Police Department and the Kentucky State Police.

Bomb-sniffing dogs were brought to the facility — one with the Williamsburg Police Department the other with the detention center.

Each dog sniffed out the same spot — near the locker room area in the upper part of the building, Harrell said.

Harrell explained the dog “hits” did not necessarily mean a bomb was present.

“They may just be hitting on a chemical or material used in the plant that could be used to make a bomb,” he said. “But (we took) precautionary measures.”

Williamsburg Plastics management provided emergency crews a thick stack of MSDS papers. MSDS, or Material Safety Data Sheets, list chemicals and solutions used by the company in its day-to-day operations. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires this be available for both employees and emergency, fire and law enforcement personnel.

He said the KSP notified a bomb squad unit, which was dispatched to the scene from Lexington.

Employees were then sent home from their shift, and eventually the factory parking lot was empty except for law enforcement and emergency services personnel.

And the waiting game began — but not for long.

After a short time, orange cones were hastily snatched away from the barricade on Factory Lane — and four unmarked vehicles wheeled their way into the parking lot.

Any remaining non-emergency personnel were asked to move away from the property.

Two troopers with the KSP bomb squad suited up in full gear, and once their helmets were in place, they entered the front of the building, out of sight.

Not long after, the troopers exited, heading back for their vehicles. After a discussion with law enforcement and emergency personnel, they all entered the building.

Harrell said the dogs ended up hitting on material “covered up with a cardboard box — it was coincidental.”

An investigation was well under way by the time second shift employees began to arrive at the plant. Harrell announced the sheriff’s department sought Rogers in connection to the called-in threat.

“We traced the number and it came back to a TracFone — a throwaway phone,” Harrell said. “Through conversations, we tracked her down.”

Rogers was arrested in Jellico, but waived extradition was booked into the detention center just after 6 p.m.

“We take (bomb threats) very seriously,” Harrell said. “There was close to 100 people in there — and they’re scared whether they might get blown up or not.”

Williamsburg Plastics manufactures appliance parts, according to Anspach, the plant manager.

“As soon as we got the call, we got everybody out of the building,” he said.

He said second- and third-shift employees were able to report to work. “It’s unfortunate that these kinds of things happen,” Anspach said. “It’s kind of scary — but you gotta do what you gotta do.”