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Southern Utah highway reopened; tour bus bomb threat bogus

Published April 23, 2013 10:24 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A stretch of U.S. 163 in southern Utah's San Juan County had been reopened by early Tuesday morning after bomb disposal experts investigating a threat to a tour bus turned up nothing.

Utah Highway Patrol Cpl. Todd Johnson confirmed that "no explosives were found and the road was reopened at 12:14 a.m."

The FBI, given the interstate and public transportation aspects of the threat, was leading the investigation. No details on the exact content of the threat, or how it was received, were released.

Beginning about 2 p.m. Monday, the highway was closed down south of Mexican Hat. The bus was about 14 miles north of the Utah-Arizona state line, in Utah's scenic Monument Valley on the Navajo Nation, when it was stopped and passengers safely evacuated.

Traffic between the Arizona border and Bluff was rerouted to U.S. Highway 191, a parallel route to the east of Highway 163.

A bomb squad from the Utah County Sheriff's Office was called in to assist late Monday afternoon.

remims@sltrib.com

Twitter: @remims