Reporting Derek Valcourt
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ)—A startling discovery in Anne Arundel County where two grenades put fire officials and bomb squad technicians on high alert.
Derek Valcourt has more on where the devices came from and why they were there.
These were two World War II era grenades, apparently long forgotten.
Sky Eye Chopper 13 was over the scene as bomb squad technicians responded to a house on St. Margaret’s Road in Annapolis.
The discovery came around 12:30 p.m. as relatives were cleaning out the home of a now deceased World War II veteran.
“There was a pin sticking out like a cross pin with a wire just like you would see in a grenade where you would pull the pin and you would toss it,” said Bill Schardt, homeowner’s son-in-law. “Only this looked like something that may have been shot out of a tube.”
A photo of the grenades was emailed to the Department of Defense, which quickly confirmed they were World War II Japanese style hand grenades.
Fire officials say the homeowner’s relatives did the right thing by not touching the devices.
“In reality there could be nothing to them. But if somebody pulled that pin and it was the real thing it could have been catastrophic,” said Chief Steve Thompson, Anne Arundel County Fire Department.
A bomb robot went into the house to collect the items. A couple of hours after the ordeal first began the grenades were safely brought out of the house.
It was a relief to the surprised relatives who found them.
“What else are you going to do with it? You can’t throw it in the trash can. You are not going to bury it in the backyard, and the older it is, the less stable it is,” Schardt said.
Firefighters say they planned to take the devices out to an undisclosed location to safely detonate them.
The Japanese used grenades extensively in their operations in the South Pacific and in Burma.