San Diego

‘There May Be a Bomb in My Car': Threat Prompts Closure of Main Gate at NAS North Island

The gate at 3rd and Alameda was reopened after 7 hours following a verbal threat made by a driver at the base's main gate

The investigation into the possibility there may be explosives inside the trunk of a vehicle prompted the closure of the main gate at Naval Air Station North Island for seven hours Thursday.

A U.S. Navy petty officer was taken into custody just after 5 a.m. after reporting there may be a bomb in the trunk of a car, officials said.

"When the person came through the gate, the statement was made, 'There may be a bomb in my car,'" Base Commanding Officer Capt. Scott Mulvehill said.

Security personnel set up a perimeter around the car but they were having difficulty getting into the trunk, Mulvehill said.

"They lowered the back seat to get into the trunk and now they're trying to get eyes or video into the trunk to verify what's in there," he said.

The petty officer who made the report was being interrogated by NCIS agents, he added. No evidence of a bomb was present on her hands or clothing, officials said.

The main gate at 3rd and Alameda was closed as of 6 a.m. Thursday, affecting approximately 30,000 people, the base commander said. 

Sailors and staff were asked to call in to their commands before heading in to work, officials said.

All traffic was diverted to the Ocean gate and carrier gate, officials said.

Because of the delays to base traffic, commuters using surface streets in Coronado found gridlock.

“We take all threats seriously and we appreciate the city’s patience with us as we investigate the validity of this threat,” Mulvehill said.

A day care center was closed and the children that had already arrived at the day care were moved and are being taken care of until they can be reunited with their parents, Mulvehill said.

Just before noon, the vehicle was removed by a tow truck and the main gate was reopened.

No bomb was found in the car. The sailor is now in custody and the Navy is investigating the incident.

No other information was available.

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