Pipe bomb shakes downtown library

By and

Junior Bobby Sakaki was studying in the downtown Salt Lake City Library Friday when a bomb exploded on the floor below him.

Sakaki, who works as a photographer for The Chronicle, said he was reading a book titled, Legal Responses to Terrorism when he heard a loud explosion and felt the floor below him shake.

“The sound scared the hell out of me-I was straight-up terrified,” he said.

At first, Sakaki said, he thought something had fallen from the top floor of the library atrium, but several minutes later he smelt gunpowder in the air.

“I thought something hit the building,” he said. “It was the loudest sound I’ve heard in my life.”

After about five minutes, Sakaki said, the library was evacuated and he learned a pipe bomb had gone off, shattering a window on the third floor of the building.

Kevin Joiner, a detective with Salt Lake City Police, said the bomb went off around 2:30 and punched a hole through one of the windows on the west side of the library. He said the bomb was likely a small homemade device.

Salt Lake City Police reported no injuries from the blast.

Joiner said there is no suspect in the case and the department is investigating.

Library employees were allowed back into the building just before 4 p.m. on Friday, and the library re-opened for the general public on Saturday morning.

“(The incident) upsets me because it’s a library-it’s where I go to do homework,” Sakaki said. “I don’t know why you would do something like that.”

Jenny Ho, a senior in biomedical engineering and a library employee, said she heard the bomb explode from the basement of the library, four floors below the blast.

“It was a really big, loud noise,” she said.

Kim Peterson

Salt Lake City police barricade and evacuate the downtown library Thursday after a homemade pipe bomb exploded on the third floor, breaking a window.