March 19, 2019 10:47 pm
Updated: March 20, 2019 1:54 am

Abandoned WWII grenade prompts evacuations in Okanagan town: RCMP

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RCMP have evacuated two businesses around Smith Drive in downtown Armstrong, B.C., following the discovery of what police say appears to be a Second World War hand grenade.

The potentially explosive device was found atop a cinder block in an abandoned lot next to a restaurant.

Police said they received a call about the item.

The Dairy Queen and Anchor Inn Pub have both been forced to close, and residents in the area have been told to stay indoors.

READ MORE: RCMP investigates after ‘homemade’ explosive goes off in Coquitlam

The bomb squad is on its way from Vancouver, according to RCMP, with their arrival expected around 2 a.m.

While police simply described the item as a military-grade grenade, a nearby resident said police showed her a photo of a much more elaborate device.

“It’s a makeshift hand grenade but it actually looks like a small box package that’s got tape around it,” said Jess Sawicki-Wright, who lives across the street from the police incident area. “It has live wires, and there’s a live pin and it’s more oval- and square-shaped than looking more like a hand grenade.”

Sawicki-Wright said the item she saw in the photo on an RCMP officers’ cellphone looks bigger than a regular grenade.

“There are wires. It is a package. It’s got tape and it’s quite big,” she said.

Sawicki-Wright called it a handmade replica.

“It looks nothing like the real picture the officer showed me [of grenades],” she said.

RCMP would not comment on the woman’s description of the device.

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