ShareThis Page

Police hope voice will be recognized on Pittsburgh tunnel threat tape

| Thursday, June 7, 2007

Click here to listen to the 911 recording.

State police Wednesday released a recording of a man who called in a bomb threat that prompted authorities to shut down three Pittsburgh tunnels.

"Bomb in the tunnels at 6 o'clock on the parkway," the man said to an Allegheny County 911 dispatcher at 4:40 p.m. on May 31. "Parkway tunnels, bomb at 6 o'clock."

"What parkway tunnels?" the dispatcher asked twice.

The caller -- who spoke with a "foreign accent," officials said -- uttered something short and indecipherable, then hung up.

Within an hour, authorities closed the Squirrel Hill and Fort Pitt tunnels and swept the areas for explosives. Police closed the Liberty Tunnel after receiving a report of a suspicious package. No bombs were found in any of the tunnels.

Police released the audio hoping someone will recognize the voice and call investigators.

"We're always looking for leads," said Trooper Robin Mungo, a state police spokeswoman. "It might be that someone will recognize the voice."

The threat was made from a phone booth in the 1200 block of East Carson Street in the South Side. Mungo said passers-by might have noticed the caller because most people today use cell phones, and phone booths are disappearing from the city.

"If you saw anything suspicious, call us," she said.

Officials released no details of the investigation.

Investigators have "some positive leads," Mungo said. "We're moving in the right direction."

She would not say what, if any, evidence was lifted from the South Side phone booth, or if police have identified a suspect.

The bomb scare halted rush-hour traffic for hours.

The caller faces several felony charges, including threatening to use weapons of mass destruction, Mungo said.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me