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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.

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