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October 29, 2020

Explosive-filled van found abandoned along Ben Franklin Parkway

It's unclear whether the vehicle was connected to recent civil unrest sparked by the police killing of Walter Wallace Jr.

Investigations Police
Van Explosives Logan Square Thom Carroll/For PhillyVoice

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is helping police investigate an explosive-filled van found near Logan Square.

An abandoned van stocked with explosives, including propane tanks, dynamite sticks and torches, was discovered by Philadelphia police near Logan Square late Wednesday night.

No one was in the van when police arrived at the scene at North 19th Street and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, according to NBC10. A witness told police that they spotted a man running away from the vehicle.

A bomb squad and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are assisting with the investigation. 

No arrests have been made. The owner of the van is unknown at this time.

Police did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the investigation.

Police found the van while the city was under a curfew that lasted from 9 p.m. Wednesday until 6 a.m. Thursday. The curfew was implemented in response to two nights of protests and looting sparked by the police shooting of Walter Wallace Jr.

It is unknown whether there is a connection between the explosive-filled van and the recent civil unrest.

Wallace, a 27-year-old Black man, was shot by two police officers who responded to a disturbance Monday afternoon on the 6100 block of Locust Street in West Philly. His family said he was experiencing a mental health crisis and claimed their 911 call was for an ambulance, not police intervention.

Wallace was seen on video approaching two officers with a knife in his hand. The officers, who did not have Tasers, pointed their guns at Wallace and ordered him to drop his knife. When Wallace continued to advance and refused to drop his weapon, they fired at least 14 gunshots, causing fatal injuries.

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