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Front Page » March 30, 2004 » Local News » Mega Blast!
Published 3,892 days ago

Mega Blast!


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By PATSY STODDARD
Editor

Old Dynamite found in Emery set off by Bomb Squad

Dynamite found inside an old shed in Emery was detonated south of the town.

A potentially volatile situation was defused in Emery Town with the help of the Utah County Metro Bomb Squad. A call came into the Emery County Sheriff's Office on March 19 which reported some dynamite was stored in an old shed at 189 North and 100 East in Emery. There were two full cases, one partial case and some fuses and blasting caps reported to be in an old shed. The dynamite was presumed to be approximately 45 years old.

Further investigation into the matter occurred on the following day. The sheriff's office conducted an assessment of what was there to see what would be needed to take care of the dynamite. Because of the location of the dynamite within the town, it was determined that the bomb squad should be called in. The Utah County Metro Bomb Squad was contacted and four members of this team responded to the scene on Sunday. Sgt. Harold, "Skip" Curtis, Sgt. Aundre Leavitt, Sgt. Spencer Cannon, and Sgt. Jeff Jones traveled to Emery County to conduct the disposal of the dynamite.

The squad began by securing the area. They wore protective vests and helmets as they began removing the boards from the old shed to gain access to the dynamite. The Emery Town fire department was on standby as well as Sgt. Martin Wilson from the sheriff's office for EMT duties. The foam truck from the Ferron fire department was also at the scene. GPS coordinates with the medical helicopter had also been completed so the helicopter could be dispatched if needed.

The squad began the removal of the explosives including blasting caps and sticks of dynamite. The removal took approximately three hours. The squad rigged a pulley with a rope and brought the boxes of dynamite out of the shed. One of the boxes was empty. The boxes were lifted into an explosive containment trailer the squad brought with them from Utah County. This trailer is designed to contain the blast should it go off while the trailer is enroute to a safe location for detonation. The blast would go straight into the air with minimal damage to surroundings. Once the explosives had been secured within the trailer it was taken to a detonation location south of Emery.

The boxes of dynamite are guided by rope out of the shed.

At this time a counter charge and fuse was set. Detonation cord was run from the site of the counter charge approximately 30 yards and fuse continued to a location approximately 300 yards away. The explosives were detonated successfully from the safe zone. The explosion caused a large cloud of thick, black smoke which dissipated as it rose into the sky. It was mentioned that the dynamite found was used years ago by someone working on canals in the area.

Emery County Sheriff Lamar Guymon said, "This situation was dealt with in such a way as to minimize danger to the citizens of Emery. In dealing with explosives it is crucial to know what you're doing. We called in the bomb squad because they are trained for exactly these types of situations. If anyone finds explosives, it is important for them to contact the sheriff's office immediately so they can be disposed of properly. We are extremely happy with how this turned out. I would like to thank Capt. Kyle Ekker from the sheriff's office and all emergency services personnel who helped at the scene for a job well done."

There are eight accredited bomb squads in the state. These squads are accredited through the FBI Bomb Data and FBI/US Army Hazardous Device School Redstone Arsenal. These squads are located in Cache, Davis, Salt Lake, Utah and Washington counties. They all respond to incidents outside of their jurisdictions. Their mission is to coordinate with the appropriate local, state and federal resources an integrated response to weapons of mass destruction incident to include chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear incidents.

The underlying philosophy of the Utah Bomb Squad Committee is to safeguard life and property and to restore the situation to normal as soon as possible. This will be achieved by using the appropriate render safe technique and equipment, which will minimize damage, maximize the preservation and collection of evidence in the event of a post blast incident and subsequent investigation.


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