Authorities probe bomb threat at Holcomb Tyson plant

6/27/2013

By RUTH CAMPBELL

By RUTH CAMPBELL

rcampbell@gcelegram.com

The Garden City Fire Department responded Wednesday afternoon to a bomb threat at the Tyson Fresh Meats plant near Holcomb, but found no signs of an explosive device during a search of the plant.

"At this point, it's a hoax," Shelton said after firefighters had completed their search Wednesday afternoon.

Firefighters responded shortly after 1 p.m. and were at the scene for about two hours. Shelton said a crew of five, a battalion chief and two vehicles were sent to provide support if needed.

Finney County Undersheriff John Andrews said the sheriff's office also responded to the threat, which was made via telephone. A search of the building was conducted by Tyson personnel and nothing was found. Three sheriff's office units responded. Andrews said the all clear was given at about 3:45 p.m.

The plant, which employs about 3,300 people, was in the midst of a shift change and was not evacuated, but Andrews said the employees coming on shift were not allowed in. Employees who were still working kept working, he said.

Worth Sparkman, manager of public relations for Tyson in Springdale, Ark., said the company received word Wednesday afternoon of the bomb threat. "Since it was the beginning of shift change, many of our employees were already walking out of the plant. We prevented second shift employees from entering the facility. Law enforcement has since investigated and determined it is safe for us to continue operations," Sparkman said in an email to The Telegram.

Andrews said the sheriff's office is still investigating another bomb threat against Tyson from about two months ago.

Wednesday's case will be investigated as an aggravated criminal threat, which is a level five person felony, he said. The sentencing guideline for a level five person felony could range from 31 months — with a misdemeanor or no record — to 34 months, he said.

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