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FBI Investigates Gas Line Tampering at Olean Armory

By Eileen Buckley

Olean, NY – The FBI and Olean Police Department are investigating the tampering of a gas line at the Olean National Guard Armory.

Authorities say it appeared a natural gas line was rigged so that an electrical spark would cause the line to explode. A hole was tapped along the line, with a rubber hose running to an electrical transformer at the Armory. Olean Police Chief Brian Donnelly says a New York State Electric and Gas employee made the discovery on March 30th.

"The employee came down to the Armory to locate a line and noticed that it had been tampered with," Donnelly said.

The FBI was notified immediately. Chief Donnelly says he can not discuss too many details. He says it is too early into the investigation to determine if it was a possible act of terrorism.

"The natural gas line was tampered with. We don't know for what reason or by whom," Donnelly said. "The investigation is ongoing. It is something that doesn't happen down this way very often."

The National Guard's 127th is housed at the armory. It is located across from the police department in what is called the Olean Times Square.

Chief Donnelly says other precautions have been taken around the Armory, the police station and at other city facilities in Olean. Donnelly urges residents to report anything that may look suspicious.