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Update: Bomb squad destroys 'precursor' explosive material

Penticton RCMP and fire department members wait for the Explosive Disposal Unit from Vancouver after a homemade explosive device allegedly went off near a residence on Windsor Avenue on Thursday afternoon. - Kristi Patton/Western News
Penticton RCMP and fire department members wait for the Explosive Disposal Unit from Vancouver after a homemade explosive device allegedly went off near a residence on Windsor Avenue on Thursday afternoon.
— image credit: Kristi Patton/Western News

Update: June 6, 2014

Unspecified "precurosor" materials were detonated Friday afternoon by an RCMP bomb squad following a search of a Penticton home where an explosion was accidentally triggered Thursday.

RCMP Staff Sgt. Kurt Lozinski said the material, which could be used to make explosives, was taken to the backyard of the home at 225 Windsor Avenue and safely destroyed.

The loud bang was easily heard and felt at least 100 metres from the home.

Lozinski said a 30-year-old man who lives at the home remains in police custody and has been co-operative, but hasn't yet been charged with any crimes.

No one appears to have been hurt by either blast.

More to come.

 

*****

Posted: June 5, 2014

RCMP arrested a Penticton man after a homemade explosive device detonated on Thursday afternoon.

"We received a complaint of a possible shot fired and upon attendance of a residence on Windsor Avenue we realized the noise actually was caused by a homemade explosive device that went off unintentionally in close proximity to a residence," said Cpl. Martin Trudeau.

No one was injured in the explosion, but Trudeau said some metal material went through a window and possibly a wall.

"Our preliminary investigation led us to quickly make an arrest of a person who we believe was making homemade improvised explosive devices," said Trudeau.

Mounties said they are now waiting for the Explosive Disposal Unit from Vancouver to arrive. The suspect's house and neighbouring residence have been evacuated and will be guarded overnight. Trudeau said the bomb squad will clear the area Friday morning, then a search warrant will be executed to investigate the suspect's home.

The male who was arrested lives in the upper portion of the house, but was not home at the time of the incident, which is why Trudeau believes the bomb went off unintentionally.

The man was later arrested after RCMP called him to return to his house from Okanagan Falls. A separate basement suite was occupied by one female at the time of the explosion, but she was not involved in the incident.

"Based on the photograph we provided the Explosive Disposal Unit they determined a safety radius of about 50 feet from the scene. That distance has been cordoned off and will be guarded overnight," said Trudeau. "We cleared the rest of the neighbourhood, so people outside of that range can get into their homes, and informed the residents of what was happening."

A neighbour of the person arrested said he arrived from work to find police cars in the street and yellow tape marking off his property. The man said he has only heard rumours of what happened, including that there was a copper pipe bomb exploded between the two residences. He also heard there was minimal damage, which included a portion of fence.

One woman standing outside of the property about an hour after the explosion did not want to give a comment but said her car was behind yellow police tape and she was not allowed to go into her residence to retrieve her keys.

"They will be looked after for the night by the provincial emergency program who have been extremely co-operative to find temporary shelter for those people," said Trudeau.

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