AMHERST – Excitement this morning at a metal recycling depot in Amherst’s industrial park ended with the all-clear from military personnel.
A U.S. naval member of Fleet Diving Unit Atlantic – on secondment to the Canadian forces – confirmed the device found at Bordertown Metal Recycling Depot was a practice bomb, likely from the period stretching from World War Two to the Korean War. The sailor, who works in explosive ordinance disposal, estimated a real device the size of the practice bomb, if it went off, might have an effective radius of 50 feet for structures and 100 metres for personnel.
He said he gets calls like today’s incident about once a month. The sailor did not want to be identified.
The Department of Defense was notified by Amherst police, after the local force was contacted by the owners of the site, Moncton-based Tri Province Enterprises. Tri Province owns the Amherst recycling business.
Barry Burke, operations manager of the facility, said the object arrived in a load yesterday. He phoned his head office when it was discovered.
“This is the first time here,” said Burke, when asked if an item like the military munition had ever been dropped off before.
The facility just opened in March.
A police cruiser was parked perhaps 25 metres from the object, which lay in the dirt all morning just outside a round metal hut awaiting the arrival of Halifax-based military personnel. Employees continued to work in a neighbouring building in the yard, although the weigh-scale was closed down around 11 a.m.
Const. Junior Reid said a call about the (fake) bomb’s discovery came in to the police station at 9 a.m.
A Tri Province rep and the police emphasized hazardous materials, such as military munitions, should be dealt with by phoning the police.