Police respond to explosive situation at Forest
|By Lisa Gervais - Editor | June 23, 2016
Deteriorated explosives and old, dangerous detonators - stored years ago at Haliburton Forest in a shed could have resulted in a tragedy last week.
However, the OPP’s explosive disposal unit (EDU) was called in to literally neutralize the threat. Malcolm Cockwell, manager of the Forest, said they called the OPP last Thursday after the surprise discovery of “potentially dangerous materials.”
Local OPP said they got the call about 12:38 p.m. after staff at the Forest found the material. “The explosives and detonators were stored together and created a very dangerous situation,” OPP said in a media release. “Due to the condition of the explosives and detonators, EDU members had to dispose of explosives at the scene using approved disposal techniques. EDU members rendered the scene safe for the property owner and public.”
The OPP reminded the public to call police if they suspect they may have come across what they believe are explosives. Cockwell said he’s glad the Forest did. “We were very grateful for the professionalism of the OPP, EDU, and the other emergency services. They all made a great effort to ensure the situation was resolved in a safe manner. We are truly fortunate to live in a place where such competent, caring experts are available to keep us safe, even when surprises like this come along.” Cockwell said they’ve learned two big lessons.
First, always call experts when you’re uncertain about how to proceed safely. Second, workplaces must be kept clean and tidy at all times to prevent dangerous situations.
“While we already work hard to have a clean, tidy, and safe workplace, it turns out that we were storing some dangerous materials from many, many years ago. We are grateful that everything was resolved last week without incident, and since then, we have checked all of our facilities to ensure that we are not storing any other potentially dangerous materials.”
LISA GERVAIS is the editor for The Highlander.