Two blasts, hours apart, signal end of South Jordan explosives scare

Jul 24, 2020, 7:42 AM | Updated: Jul 28, 2020, 7:21 am
South Jordan SWAT...
Businesses and homes in South Jordan near 10305 South 3200 West have been evacuated after a late-night SWAT situation. Derek Petersen KSLTV

SOUTH JORDAN, Utah — Two blasts, about three hours apart, represented the end of the threat from explosives inside a South Jordan home near 10305 South 3200 West after a SWAT standoff. 

South Jordan officials evacuated 168 homes in the area, as well as around 34 businesses, because of the potential threat. By 10 p.m., they lifted the evacuation notice. 

Crews set off the first explosion just after 6 p.m. Friday. A second occurred just after 9 p.m.

The SWAT situation

Police arrested Ryan Lynn McManigal, 42, after they say he fired a gun at officers in South Jordan on Thursday night and made a mass shooting threat against a local business.

Lt. Matt Pennington says they have been investigating McManigal since last Saturday. Officers served a search warrant on his residence Thursday night around 11 p.m.

“He was in possession of some firearms that he’s not supposed to have. He’s a restricted person, it’s illegal for him to own them,” Pennington said. 

Pennington said they tried to come to a peaceful resolution with McManigal earlier in the week but were unsuccessful.

“As soon as negotiators made contact with him, he immediately became adversarial and started firing at officers,” he said. 

Pennington says the rounds did not hurt anyone.

South Jordan evacuations lifted

South Jordan officials earlier advised residents not to return to their homes until at least 10 a.m. Saturday, but by 10 p.m. Frida, lifted the advisory. 

Pennington said that after his arrest, McManigal told police of some hazardous substances in the home, prompting the concern. Police called in the West Valley City HAZMAT team and bomb squad to assist. Later, South Jordan officials clarified in a tweet that the materials in question were explosives, not a bio-hazard. 

“With what they’re dealing with in there currently, this could be very very different. We’re still not safe, that’s why everything is evacuated and the businesses are closed because [the WVC teams] believe what they are dealing with is volatile enough that they feel like it’s not safe for anyone to be around it,” Pennington said earlier in the day.  

Explosive material needed detonation

The challenge, city leaders say, came from crews’ inability to remove the explosive material safely. 

“Originally, we evacuated 14 homes,” said Rachael Van Cleave, spokesperson for the city of South Jordan. 

Then, she said, they realized they could not safely remove the material and would need to detonate it instead. At that point, officials went door to door, evacuating the remainder of the 168 homes. They tried to reach anyone who did not respond in the initial effort using reverse 911. 

“We’re trying to mitigate any damage we possibly can,” Van Cleave said Friday afternoon, ahead of the detonations. “Everybody should stay away from this area.” 

She would not confirm what the explosive material was, “because of the sensitivity of the subject.”

Even with the rounds that hit the SWAT vehicles in the overnight standoff in South Jordan, neither the shooting nor detonation of the explosives resulted in any injuries. One neighboring home sustained minor damage. 

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Two blasts, hours apart, signal end of South Jordan explosives scare