Bombing threat closes barn

Published 12:00 am Monday, July 17, 2006

PROCTORVILLE — A bomb threat briefly closed the livestock barn Saturday afternoon and led to a massive hunt throughout the Lawrence County Fairgrounds for a device that was ultimately never found.

Shortly after 1 p.m., a man called the Cabell County, W,Va., 911 center claiming that there was a bomb planted in the barn where a crowd of hundreds had gathered for the large-animal auction.

About half-way through the hog show, everybody in the barn was ordered out as throngs of volunteers scoured the entire fairgrounds looking for anything suspicious.

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They looked in every animal stall, bag of feed and tack box. The concession stand, carnival rides and campers at the site were also inspected. Nothing was found.

The crowd of bidders and onlookers stayed calm during the evacuation, complying with orders and filing out of the show ring in an orderly fashion. However, there were several 4-Hers crying in the barn.

Doug Clark, president of the county agricultural society, said he was upset about the incident and the disruption that it caused.

Nothing similar has ever happened at the fair, he said.

“We are very thankful for all the help we had to look around the fairgrounds,” Clark said.

Also, he said, he is appreciative of the bidders who stuck it out through the evacuation, which lasted about 30 minutes.

Clark said the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department was able to trace the phone from which the threat was called in from. No arrests have been made.

“I hope they are arrested. I hate it for these kids, “ he said.