UPDATE 2:45 P.M.
Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP respond to a suspicious occurrence where a suspected explosive device was located on Smith Drive in Armstrong just before 5 p.m. Tuesday.
A front-line officer was approached by a concerned citizen that observed what they believed to be some sort of explosive device in the area of the 3100 block of Smith Drive. Officers attended to the area and found a small device which had the appearance of a hand grenade sitting on top of a cement barrier.
“As a precaution the area was immediately evacuated and the streets closed for the safety of the public, until we could determine what it was we were dealing with,” said RCMP spokesperson Const. Kelly Brett.”Out of an abundance of caution, the scene was secured overnight until the device could be examined by specifically trained officers from the RCMP Explosive Disposal Unit (EDU).”
Just after 10 a.m. Wednesday, the EDU arrived – having had to deal with another incident in Nanaimo the night prior – and confirmed the device was a modified grenade, and was no risk to public safety.
“Although the device was rendered safe, EDU collected the object and disposed of it in a safe and controlled manner, so it does not end up in the wrong hands again,” said Brett.
The investigation into the incident is ongoing and it is not clear when the device was left or who it was left by. The RCMP would like to thank the community for their patience during the evacuations and road closures.
Anyone with any information in regards to his incident is asked to contact the Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP Armstrong detachment at 250-546-3028. Or remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477, or leaving a tip online at www.nokscrimestoppers.com. You do not have to reveal your identity to Crime Stoppers. If you provide information that leads to an arrest, you could be eligible for a cash reward.
UPDATE: 11:45 a.m.
The RCMP Explosive Disposal Unit arrived on scene earlier this morning and disposed of the ordnance in question. RCMP have confirmed via a Facebook postthat Smith Road in Armstrong has now been re-opened.
According to the post, “The RCMP Explosive Disposal Unit has confirmed the explosive device to be a improvised grenade that has been rendered safe. The intent of the IED being placed in that area and when is unknown at this time. Thank you to the community of Armsrong for their patience during the road and business closures.”
UPDATE: 10:50 a.m.
The RCMP Explosive Disposal Unit has arrived on scene in Armstrong where a ‘live grenade’ was discovered Tuesday night.
UPDATE: 9:39 a.m.
Smith Drive in Armstrong remains closed as police await the arrival of an ordnance disposal unit.
The ordnance was discovered at around 5 p.m. near the entrance to a parking lot between Dairy Queen and the Anchor Inn Pub.
A reporter on scene said the disposal unit is expected to arrive by 10:30 a.m.
UPDATE: 7 a.m. Wednesday, March 20
A portion of one of Armstrong’s main roads remain closed after the discovery of an explosive late Tuesday afternoon.
The ordnance was discovered on Smith Drive at around 5 p.m.
“I’m told a live grenade was found by an entrance to a parking lot between Dairy Queen and the Anchor Inn (Pub),” said Armstrong Mayor Chris Pieper late Tuesday evening, adding the device wasn’t dug up.
“It had to be placed there by somebody. It wasn’t excavated or something like that. Somebody had to set it there.”
RCMP were called and Pieper said that particular portion of Smith Drive was barricaded.
Front line officers are currently on scene in Armstrong near Dairy Queen where a suspected explosive device has been located. Scene is secure & area has been evacuated. RCMP Explosive Disposal Unit is en route. Please stay out of the area.
— Vernon North Okanagan RCMP (@VernonNOkRCMP) March 20, 2019
“Protocol is that everyone and everything within 200 feet of where the explosive was discovered be evacuated,” he said. “They closed Dairy Queen and the Anchor Inn. Everybody was very receptive. They may not have liked it but they left in an orderly fashion.”
Officers will stay on-site with the explosive until an expert comes to dispose of it.
RCMP media relations officer Cst. Kelly Brett said there is no new information Wednesday morning.
“Scene is still being secured and EDU is on the way,” she said.
Smith Drive going into Armstrong from Highway 97A remains open.
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