HERMISTON - The phones didn't stay quiet long: The Umatilla Chemical Depot's incinerator complex received another bomb threat this morning.
But a new twist this week is that the call may have been made from a phone near the Hermiston's Red Apple Market. While local police and the FBI wouldn't comment on it, the police log states "Bomb threat, Raytheon, incident location: Red Apple."
This makes five bomb threats since the end of February. Like the others, this one came in via phone at 6:55 a.m.
Raytheon Demilitarization Co., the contractor building the incinerator facility, released about 1,000 employees for the day.
Bomb crews were searching for explosive devices this morning. The results of the search weren't known at press time.
FBI spokesman Gordon Compton said little about the continuing case this morning. He expected little information to be released until someone is charged with a crime. Compton wouldn't say if the FBI has any leads in the case.
This may give rise to new suspicions of who may be responsible for the phoned-in threats. Last week, the FBI arrested a Montana man on suspicion of phoning in a threat on Tuesday, but he was subsequently released for lack of evidence.
Each bomb threat has been phoned early in the morning to the offices of Raytheon employees, and all have been directed at the incinerator project rather than the depot itself, which stores 3,717 tons of chemical weapons.
Construction at the project is ramping down: it is 80 percent complete and some workers have been laid off. But with three days of construction now lost to bomb threats, Raytheon will need to juggle its schedule a bit to meet the November completion date.
Anyone with information about the threats should call the FBI at 503-224-418. Raytheon is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible.