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RCMP warn Alberta homeowners to be aware of old explosives after grenades found near Edmonton

A hand grenade, that had been encased in concrete for 60 years ago, recovered recently by RCMP and the Canadian Armed Forces in Devon, Alta.
A hand grenade, that had been encased in concrete for 60 years ago, recovered recently by RCMP and the Canadian Armed Forces in Devon, Alta. Supplied by RCMP

In light of several recent discoveries, RCMP are warning rural Alberta homeowners to be aware of old and abandoned dynamite, explosives and detonators and report any discoveries to police.

“Not so long ago, historical rules gave Alberta farmers and ranchers easy access to dynamite and detonators.

“Because of these rules, there is a large, but unquantified, amount of degraded dynamite in our province today,” said an RCMP news release.

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Police said every year, many Albertans report finding dynamite or detonators stored, or in some cases forgotten, on their properties.

READ MORE: Explosives team called to Edson museum after surprise discovery in old safe

“It is so important for people to understand how dangerous these materials can be no matter how much time has passed since they were stored,” Cpl. Paul Zanon with the RCMP Explosives Disposal Unit said.

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Within the last year, Mounties said they recovered 115 detonators and have dealt with 10 files involving detonators and dynamite. In addition, the RCMP Explosives Disposal Unit recovered a total of four hand grenades within one week in Devon, Red Deer and Didsbury.

“Two weeks ago, we recovered two hand grenades in Devon with the assistance of the Canadian Armed Forces and one of them was still active, despite being encased in concrete some 60 years ago.”

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“We can’t stress it enough. If you find such materials on your property, do not touch or move them. Immediately report it to police,” Zanon said.

READ MORE: Lethbridge man makes explosive discovery on acreage

Police said they are well-equipped to dispose of degraded dynamite and all other types of explosives, and will do so for free.

Police said if people find an explosive, do not move or touch it. Instead, they are asked to take photos — if possible — and send them to police along with the age of the device, its location and the amount present.

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