Conception Bay, Canada
Conception Bay, Canada
Cottonwood Heights, Utah EOD were called to remove a WWII mortar from a home in Cottonwood Heights. A tweet from 151st Air Refueling Wing of the Utah Air National Guard announced, "Members of the 151st Civil Engineer Squadron's EOD team assisted Cottonwood Heights Police Department to safely remove a type 89 World War II mortar from a residential house."There is no information about how the mortar ended up in the house. The munition was taken to Camp Williams for safe disposal.
Manila, Philippines A hand grenade was found inside a pushcart outside of the office of the Philippine Star (an English-language print and digital newspaper in the Philippines). The cart owner discovered the munition and reported the find to authorities.
Manila Police District bomb disposal responded and safely detonated the hand grenade without incident. The grenade was reportedly missing its control pin, so it had to be disposed of in place.
Police have not reported any leads as to why the item was there, but suspect that it could be related to an earlier arrest in the area, in which a man was reported to be abusing his live-in partner. According to the report, the man was found to have possessed a grenade.
Underwood, North Dakota A civilian called the police after finding an ordnance item which cleaning his father's house. The man told police he was unsure whether it was live but he decided to move the item to his car.
Article by John Ismay in the NY Times:
In my experience, when it comes to technical information, there are really just two kinds of bomb technicians. There's most of us, who are content to know enough about munitions to keep us out of trouble, but who depend heavily on technical data for support when confronted by unknown ordnance. Then there are those rare technicians who love the intricate details of munitions variants and fuzes; and who can name the most obscure bits of ordnance trivia, and happily argue incessantly over details.
Practical Military Ordnance Identification, Second Edition, is a book for the rest of us. It provides a common sense, systematic method for people confronted by unknown ordnance (and without access to professional military assistance and technical publications) to help them identify what they have and how to deal with it safely.
I bought the original edition of this book, liked it and found it very useful. In this second edition, Tom Gersbeck and Daniel Evers give us even more technical details, additional information on explosives and suggestions for added safety. If you are in the public safety arena and need information to help you identify unknown munitions, you can't do better than this book.
The most obvious difference between the editions is the binding. The original used standard book binding and this new edition uses a spiral wire binding. For me, and most of the people I have asked, we all love the spiral binding. You can lay the book down open to the page you want without it constantly trying to close itself. You can fold the book in half, without risking breaking the binding and potentially losing pages. For me, the spiral binding makes this a much more functional tool. I bet you will like it too.
Fort Belvoir, Virgina The 55th Ordnance Company (EOD) has received calls from museums before, but they are usually to verify that Civil War relics such as cannonballs or WWII shells are inert and safe to display. Recently, however, Staff Sgt. Robert Torbush received a different type of "UXO" call when he was alerted by Fort Belvoir Fire and Emergency Services about an explosive threat found in the Army Museum Support Center, which works with the new Museum of the U.S. Army located on the installation.
"The call was initially reported to me as a vial of picric acid, which is a sensitive explosive that, when dried, becomes quite unstable," Torbush said. The fire department cleared the building, and Torbush entered using a bomb suit. What he found was a WWI-era amber glass jar with gauze inside, soaked in an acid which was used to treat burns at that time.
"When it sits for that long, it has a tendency to form unstable salts," Torbush said. "That made it hazardous to even open the jar, and it was determined that the best course of action was to move it to a safe area. We didn't want to load it into a vehicle, because those explosive salts can be very sensitive."
Atlanta, Georgia A homeowner saw some debris behind one of his bushes in his back lawn. Upon investigation, the man found a green, metal box inside a pink pillowcase. When he pulled out the metal box for a closer look, he noticed the words stenciled on the box - "cartridges for weapons."
The man notified the police who responded and identified the rounds as linked 40mm rounds for a MK 19 grenade launcher. Police notified the local bomb squad as they evacuated several nearby homes in the area. The bomb squad notified the military and a team from Dobbins Air Reserve Base responded and took possession of the grenades for disposal. Apparently, no evidence was collected from the box such as fingerprints.
Using the lot numbers from the munitions, investigators determined that the armor-piercing (AP) grenades were last accounted for on an ammunition train that left Marine Corps Support Facility in Jacksonville, FL on route to Letterkenny Army Depot, Pennsylvania. The train, operated by CSX, contained 18 connex boxes of munitions each with an orange sign warning "Explosives" on its side.
Garden Valley, Idaho EOD from Mountain Air Force Base, in coordination with the Boise County Sheriff's Office, detonated a live grenade that was found in Garden Valley. According to a Facebook post by the Sheriff's Office, someone reported the potentially explosive device found inside a home.
The Garden Valley Fire Department also assisted as EOD safely detonated the grenade in a remote field. No word on how the grenade ended up in the home.
Los Angeles, California Police responded to residential property after receiving a tip of a large cache of illegal fireworks. Police removed between 3,000 and 5,000 pounds of fireworks from the house using three box trucks and a 53-foot trailer.
In the cache, officers found 40 items described as 'explosive devices' along with '200 similarly made smaller devices'. The total weight of the explosive devices was reported as 10 pounds. Due to concerns that the explosive devices were unstable, the bomb squad brought in a truck mounted containment vessel designed to sustain a blast from 15 pounds of explosives. However, when the items were detonated in the truck, resulting blast ripped the truck apart and flipped over nearby parked cars.
At least 17 people - 10 law enforcement personnel and seven residents were injured as a result of the blast. LAPD Chief Michel R. Moore told reporters at a news conference - "Now this is a semi-truck, multi-ton, commercial-grade transport that, within it, has an iron chamber that is meant for this, where they house explosive material that can be safely detonated." He added: "This vessel should have been able to safely dispose of that material."
Danville, Indiana Danville Metropolitan Police Department (DMPD) dispatched officers to Lawson & Co. Auction House after staff there reporting a hand grenade among items picked up from a residence in preparation for an upcoming auction.
Auction house staff told police the grenade appeared to them to be "live" as they noted the pin still intact.
DMPD instructed the callers to back away from the item as they dispatched officers. Police requested assistance from the Indianapolis Metropolitan Bomb Squad who also responded to the scene. The bomb squad determined that the grenade was likely still "live" and took possession of the device.