Bomb threat at mine

Contributed Photo. Freeport's Safford mining operation.

GRAHAM –  On Friday morning, the Graham County Sheriff deputies responded to a bomb threat at the Freeport McMoran mine near Safford. When the deputies arrived at the Lonestar gate along with the Head of Security for Freeport McMoran mine, they were told that a contractor for the mine activated the emergency button on his radio at around 10:30am and announced he found a note in the porta john that read, “There is a bomb in the mine.” There had been difficulty gathering any additional information as the man who made the radio announcement was not responding to calls on the radio.

Deputies asked if there had been any suspicious vehicles or objects that could be a bomb on the mine property and were told a search of the mine had not been conducted yet. The deputies assisted the mine security members with a search, in an attempt to locate any suspicious objects.

A little later, the man who found the note, along with another security member arrived at the gate to speak with the deputies. He informed them he had made a water run to the lower water shed and had to use the bathroom, so he entered the porta john, where he saw the note written in pen ink.  That is when he activated the emergency button on his radio and announced he found the bomb threat.  The man stated he had used the same porta john earlier that morning and the day before and there was no note in it before.  Security closed off the roads to the area. The deputies rode with members of the security team to search for any suspicious objects, but nothing suspicious was located. A photo was taken of the handwriting for evidence.

Another mine employee recalled using the same porta john several other times the day before as well as that day and did not see any writing in it. Security re-opened all the roads due to not finding any suspicious objects. Security staff was advised to contact the Sheriff’s office with any additional information as soon as possible.