Grenade and explosive taken off the streets of Belize City Print E-mail
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Thursday, 07 September 2017 00:00

Law enforcement personnel have expressed concerns for public safety and security during the September Celebrations after a fully functional grenade was found in Belize City.

Officers of the Gang Suppression Unit came across the explosive in an abandoned lot at the corner of George and Plues Street on Wednesday, September 6, at around 1:15 a.m. General David Jones, the Commander of the Belize Defense Force, confirmed to the press that the military’s operations office received a call from the police about 15 minutes later. A BDF officer trained in explosives safety was then dispatched to the area where the grenade was found, and it was retrieved.

It is now in the hands of the BDF at their ammunitions storehouse, where it will be kept until the police instruct them that it can be destroyed. The BDF have determined that the grenade is of Austrian origin.

Describing it, General David Jones said, “It’s an RJ Hand Grenade 73. It has about 355 grams in weight, about 50 grams of explosive inside. It is a high explosive defensive grenade. As to why it was there, or how it went there, your guess is as good as mine. But, it is a dangerous piece of device that could injure people between 10 to 15 metres. [It] could cause serious injures.”

The grenade has been determined to be live, and it could have been used for its intended purpose as an explosive.

Sharing his concern for citizen safety, General Jones told the press that heightened security will have to be a consideration for the September Celebrations. The BDF Commander said, “… Around September time, it seems to be creeping up whenever we have our celebration month. Explosives and grenades seem to turn up for some reason; I don’t know why. So, it is pretty concerning, and there is going to be a need for heightened security around the September Celebrations. In particular around Carnival, 10th Parade, 21st Parade, those are occurrences and activities where we have vast numbers of people, and it could be catastrophic, if we have one of these things thrown in a crowd like that.”

The grenade was not the only explosive that was found in Belize City. On Saturday September 2 the police special assignment group came up on a ‘detonator type explosive’. It was found with a 6 volt battery and 2 sets of 15 foot electrical wire in the Vernon Street area of Belize City. The explosive is used for seismic testing and if detonated in close proximity to persons it could be deadly. The blast would cause injuries in a circumference of up to 200 meters and within a radius of 10 to 15 meters it could prove deadly. According to General Jones all that the device needed for it to be functional was a detonator.

General Jones says that there is the possibility of more being on the streets. He added that investigations need to be carried out on who uses the devices and how it was that it ended up on the streets. He noted that there must be procedures in place to account for these devices.