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‘Mission’ promo a blast for L.A. Sheriff’s Dept.

Bomb scare at Times news rack

An L.A. Times promotion for Paramount’s “Mission: Impossible III” got off to an explosive start when a county arson squad blew up a news rack, thinking it contained a bomb.

The confusion: The Times rack was fitted with a digital musical device designed to play the “Mission: Impossible” theme song when the door was opened. But in some cases, the red plastic boxes with protruding wires were jarred loose and dropped onto the stack of newspapers inside, alarming customers.

Sheriff’s officials said they rendered the news rack in Santa Clarita “safe” after being called to the scene Friday by a concerned individual who thought he’d seen a bomb.

Times officials said the devices were placed in 4,500 randomly selected news boxes in Los Angeles and Ventura counties in a venture with Par designed to turn the “everyday news rack experience” into an “extraordinary mission.”

The devices are to remain in the boxes until May 7, two days after the film is scheduled to open.

— Associated Press

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