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Live grenade from Vietnam era found on college campus

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

Comments () | Archives (5)

Picked up, cleaned it off, took some pictures as though it was some quaint artifact from a by gone era, a grenade waiting to go off, it was a weapon of war, it was live, and as the story goes quite ready to kill.
Such foolish things to do by adults who should have known better.

Washing the grenade and scratching off dirt? Wow, those guys guardian angels were really on the job yesterday.

I was working at the Garfield Campus when that grenade was uncovered. I saw a police cadet walking with several GPD officers by the construction site and I was wondering what the deal was before we were evacuated. I found out from my dad, the former Executive VP of Administration at GCC that it was a grenade. We were told it was a suspicious package. It was just a weird thing to expereince. Just wish I could have been around when the Bomb Squad blew that thing up.

I am always amazed that average citizens will go the extra mile for us. I would hate to think one would find a grenade and not be conscientious enough to scratch off that pesky dirt with a butter knife so a serial number could be determined prior to calling in a Bomb Squad. The superintendent showed that leading from the front will inspire a true espirit-de-corps in his minions! Potential Darwin Award winners are temporarily alive and well!

So many of these things are inert, I guess they just thought it was a paper weight or something. At least they didn't pull the pin and play "hot potato." Lol.


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