press release - 04171401

Military Ordinance (105 mm Shell)

 

Military Ordinance (105 mm Shell)

 

 

Military Ordinance Identified and Destroyed

 

Solvang - April 17th, 2014


The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office is continuing to investigate the circumstances surrounding a military ordnance that was reported by a concerned citizen at around 3:30 p.m. yesterday, April 16, 2014.   The citizen called 911 to notify law enforcement of the hazards and location of a potentially explosive military ordnance.  Sheriff’s deputies responded and discovered the device in the 1600 block of Copenhagen Drive which is located in the heart of Solvang’s business district near residences.  The military ordnance was lying among some trash in an enclosed area of an alleyway behind several businesses. 

The Sheriff’s Bomb Squad and Vandenberg Air Force Base’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal team responded and determined the military ordnance was a 105 millimeter ammunition shell, about four inches in diameter and 18 inches long, with the fusing system still intact.  The ordnance appeared to be old and had been fired at some point, but because the fusing system was still in place the device was considered potentially unstable and able to cause widespread damage if it exploded.

The Sheriff’s Office began to immediately evacuate the area in order to clear a 1500 foot radius around where the ordnance was located.  At approximately 5:30 p.m., reverse 911 calls went out to about 400 telephone lines in the immediate area instructing residents of a mandatory evacuation.  At approximately 8 p.m. more reverse 911 calls went out to include a total of about 1,000 phone lines.  In all, its estimated about 500 to 700 people were evacuated which included several hotels in the area.  The American Red Cross set up a shelter at the Veteran’s Memorial Hall in Solvang where several hundred displaced residents gathered and waited.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue team went door to door to ensure that all the residents in the designated evacuation area had left.  The process took several hours due to the large number of businesses and homes in the populated, downtown area.

Once the evacuations were completed around 11:20 p.m., the Sheriff’s Bomb Squad and Vandenberg’s EOD team were able to retrieve the military ordnance shortly after midnight and render it safe.  At approximately 1:30 a.m., they transported the device to a remote location and destroyed it with a controlled detonation.

Right now, it’s unknown where the military ordnance came from.  Even though they are not meant for public use, they can be purchased on-line.  The Sheriff’s Office wants to remind community members to be cautious when purchasing and storing military ordnances.  Over time they have the ability to become unstable and dangerous.  If you have a military ordnance you would like to safely dispose of or have concerns about someone who possesses a military ordnance that may be dangerous, please contact the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office at 805-681-4100. 

 

A Military Ordnance Discovered in Downtown Solvang

Residents and Businesses in 1500 Foot Radius Evacuated

 

Solvang- The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Bomb Squad and Vandenberg Air Force Base’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Team investigated a potentially explosive military ordnance that was reported at approximately 3:30 p.m. on April 16 in the 1600 block of Copenhagen Drive located in Solvang’s business district near residences.  Approximately 500 to 700 homes and businesses, including several hotels, in the immediate area received Reverse 911calls instructing them to evacuate the area. The initial Reverse 911 went out to approximately 400 phone numbers in the area at approximately 5:20 p.m. and at about 8:00 p.m. was expanded to include more than a total of 1,000 phone numbers in a 1500 foot radius of where the military ordnance was located.

 

The evacuation area included the area South of Laurel Avenue, West of Alisal Road, North of Birch Drive and East of 5th Street.  Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue team members assisted with going door to door to notify residents of the mandatory evacuation.  The American Red Cross set up a location for those who were evacuated at the Veteran’s Memorial Hall at 1745 Mission Drive in Solvang. It took several hours to safely evacuate everyone out of the area. 

 

At just after midnight, the Sheriff’s Bomb Squad and Vandenberg’s EOD team removed the military ordnance and rendered it safe.  Shortly after, the evacuation was lifted and residents were allowed to return to their homes. 

 

The incident is under investigation by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office. 

 

For Media Inquires Contact PIO Kelly Hoover

 

Business Hours: (805) 681-4100
EMAIL:pio@sbsheriff.org

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