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04/17/91

CONTACT: Stanford University News Service (415) 723-2558

Smoke bombs found in Sorority tents

A smoke bomb with a timing detonator went off Monday, April 15, in one of the large tents erected for sorority "rush," police said.

Four more of the devices then were found in other tents located on Wilbur Field, near the Law School, according to Capt. Raoul Niemeyer of the Stanford Police Department.

No one was injured when the device went off about 6 p.m., Niemeyer said, although a spark ignited a small section of the Pi Beta Phi tent. The flames were quickly doused.

The device incorporated a small clock, battery and tube filled with white powder, and when detonated had a similar effect to that of smoke bombs used in war games, Niemeyer said.

While nobody was hurt, the potential for tragedy existed and was exacerbated by the fact that police were not called for several hours, Niemeyer said. Meanwhile, sorority women took it upon themselves to hunt for and "disarm" the four additional devices.

"Somebody could have really gotten hurt; you can't guess how powerful a device is unless you're an explosives expert.

"It's nice to know I've got whole qualified bomb squads right here in the sororities," he said sarcastically.

Niemeyer said any suspect devices should be reported immediately to police and not tampered with under any circumstances.

The case remains under investigation, Niemeyer said.

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