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Live grenade from Vietnam era found on college campus

September 3, 2010 |  7:39 am

Los Angeles County sheriff's bomb investigators Thursday safely detonated a live Vietnam-era grenade that was unearthed by construction crews at a Garfield Avenue satellite campus for Glendale Community College.

The discovery prompted Glendale police to evacuate the entire campus and several nearby residential buildings before bomb investigators placed the grenade in a hole in the ground, covered it with several 25- to 35-pound sandbags and detonated it.

As construction workers and residents watched from afar, the detonation set off an ear-shattering noise and a small cloud of dirt.

"It was a good thing we blew it up here," Glendale Police Lt. Bruce Fox said.

Transporting the live grenade to another location would have been too risky, he added.

A construction worker in a tractor unearthed the grenade about 12:15 p.m. while moving dirt during a grading project, said Jerry Olazabal, one of the work site foremen.

After it was discovered, crew superintendent Jerry Valent said he and others picked up the grenade for closer examination, going so far as washing off corrosion and snapping photographs.

Butch Pullen said he tried scratching off some of the dirt with a knife "to see I could see a name or something on it."

Read the full Glendale News-Press story here.

-- Veronica Rocha