NEW YORK- Firefighters partially disassembled a pipe bomb they found in a burning recycling bin and then violated procedure by bringing it back to a firehouse before calling the police's bomb squad unit, a Fire Department official said.
The nearly one-hour delay in calling the police broke FDNY rules, the Fire Department said.
"The Lieutenant involved did not follow protocol," said FDNY spokesman Charles Markey.
The incident took place late Saturday night, when firefighters responded to a report of a recycling bin on fire in the Bayside section of Queens. Authorities said they are trying to determine who assembled the device.
The Fire Department said that an investigation into the lapse by firefighters is also underway. Police eventually removed the gunpowder-filled 8-inch (20.3 centimeters) bomb from the firehouse to a bomb squad facility to dispose of it.
"We have protocols for the discovery of an explosive device. They weren't followed in this case and we're looking into why," FDNY spokesman Frank Gribbon told the Daily News in Monday's editions. "The one thing you don't do is take it with you."