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Navy officials: No explosive devices found at Bangor after security scare

No explosives were found at the nuclear submarine base at Bangor, which closed Thursday after a suspect drove onto the base and claimed to have an explosive device, Thursday Feb. 22, 2018. (Photo: KOMO News/Air 4)

BANGOR, Wash. - Normal operations have resumed at Navy Base Kitsap, after a security scare which shut down the base Thursday when a suspect drove onto the base and claimed to have an explosive device.

Late Thursday afternoon, Navy Capt. Alan Schrader, commander of Naval Base Kitsap, said the investigation had yet to turn up any explosives at the nuclear submarine base at Bangor.

"We have not found any explosive device at this point, but we have not completed our investigation," he told reporters.

A safety perimeter set up around the base at at the Trident gate was cleared just after 6:05 p.m.

The incident unfolded at about 9 a.m. when a black SUV entered the Bangor submarine base at the Trident vehicle inspection gate, said Schrader.

The driver told guards that he had an improvised explosive device on his body and in his vehicle.

The driver was taken into custody. Security measures were implemented and all gates were closed at the base, which is home to the Navy's Trident submarine fleet and strategic nuclear weapons facility.

A security perimeter was quickly established within a 3,200-foot radius of the suspect's vehicle, and residents of homes near the base were advised to shelter in place or evacuate the area.

Those security measures but have since been lifted.

Lt. Robert Brazas of the Washington State Patrol said suspicious items were found in the vehicle.

Aerial footage from KOMO's Air 4 showed a remotely operated bomb robot inspecting the suspect's vehicle.

Schrader said the suspect is currently being questioned. He said the FBI, Washington State Patrol, Naval Criminal Investigative Service, Explosive Ordnance Unit and Kitsap County Sheriff's Office are all involved in the investigation and in providing security.

About 2:30 p.m. Bangor opened the Trigger Gate for all traffic. The base said other installations have resumed normal operations.

The Navy's nearby Undersea Warfare Center also was closed initially, but gates there reopened at around 11:40 a.m.

The on-ramps from Highway 3 to the Bangor base were closed down, but have since reopened and the all gates have reopened to inbound and outbound traffic.

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