The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department (SDSO) has a new device that can contain a bomb’s blast, the department announced Thursday.
The "Total Containment Vessel" is a steel chamber that can absorb the shockwave of a blast, SDSO said. The equipment became the newest asset for the SDSO’s Bomb/Arson Unit through a $350,000 federal grant.
SDSO deputies can place a suspicious object inside the chamber and potentially detonate the device, containing the blast inside, SDSO said. The chamber will also hold any dangerous gases released inside for analysis.
"We’re able to contain the explosive shock inside and not subject us or the public to any weapons of mass destruction -- chemicals, biological, radiological materials -- that may be inside an IED,” SDSO Sgt. Greg Hampton said. "Then we're able to take samples and store them for evidence."
The bomb squad will use the new equipment to answer calls anywhere in the country.
Austin, Texas was hit this month with a string of bombing attacks that killed two people and injured four others. SDSO said the Total Containment Vessel will help authorities if a similar situation were to occur in San Diego County or elsewhere.
SDSO’s bomb squad responded to 115 suspicious device calls in 2017, according to the department.