New Haven police, along with the FBI, investigated the aftermath of three bomb detonations Thursday at the New Haven Coliseum.
But yesterday’s investigations were not part of a crime; they were part of the Coliseum Post Blast 2002 School.
The investigations took up most of the fourth day of a weeklong program designed to train 30 personnel from state, federal and municipal law enforcement agencies in conducting investigations of bomb scenes.
“This is the first time of this type of training,” Capt. Gerald Antunes of the New Haven Police Department said. “This is the first time in the country it has been done in a building.”
Antunes said the 30 participants were divided into three teams of 10, and each group was assigned to a simulated post-blast bombing scene. The teams were provided with mock victims, witnesses and possible suspects. Then they were charged with identifying devices that caused the explosions and the persons responsible for the blasts.
One of the scenes simulated an apartment in which an actual half-pound sheet of explosives was detonated, Antunes said. Blood, human flesh and nails plastered the walls. The blast ripped apart the walls, and white sheetrock from the walls was splattered all over the sofa, television and carpet of the simulated bomb scene.
A dummy victim lay on the floor with dried blood coating his body. Bits of debris were scattered everywhere, and twisted metal was strewn across the floor.
Another bomb scene investigation took place in a simulated bar, in which two investigators tore into bar stool cushions looking for evidence. The explosion blew out entire walls, and those that remained standing had been ripped open, allowing pink insulation to burst out. Investigators divided the bar scene into numbered sections and then proceeded to collect evidence.
The third bomb scene took place in a simulated office. Inspectors combed through to find minute pieces of wire, plastic, and metal that could possibly be used to reconstruct the bomb and eventually lead police to a perpetrator.
The residential scene was coordinated by the Yale Police Department. The bar scene was orchestrated by Connecticut state police and the FBI, and the office scene was staged by the NHPD, state trooper Charles Shaw said.
Shaw said the three teams can investigate their scenes for as long as they like until the final session of the school is held this afternoon. At the last session, the teams will present the results of their investigations to the rest of the class and to instructors.
Program participants included personnel from the NHPD; the YPD; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms; the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; the U.S. Army, Air Force and Navy; the Connecticut State Police; the Hartford Police Department; and the Stamford Police Department.
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