What's the difference between a bomb and a bong? Well, not much.
The San Diego Fire-Rescue Department responded to a report of a suspected bomb in the Sherman Heights neighborhood on Friday morning, only to determine the unidentified object was a bong after closing down streets and evacuating neighboring residents and businesses.
Streets were closed down for 90 minutes.
A worker at a construction site in the neighborhood just east of Interstate 5 spotted the approximately 10-inch-long galvanized metal tube with capped ends in a pile of dirt and debris outside an apartment building in the 500 block of 22nd Street just after 9 a.m., according to the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.
The cylinder resembled a pipe bomb, but turned out to be a homemade piece of drug paraphernalia.
Authorities summoned the city's ordnance-disposal team, shut down several blocks of nearby Market Street and cleared eight people out of several nearby buildings, fire spokesman Maurice Luque said.
The explosives experts examined the pipe and decided to blow it open with a rifle-like tool they carry for such purposes. After one of the caps was off the tube, the team determined that someone had built and used it as a marijuana bong or pipe, Luque said.
Crews reopened the streets and allowed people back into the evacuated buildings shortly before 11 a.m., the spokesman said.
– City News Service contributed to this report.