11/28/2007

Blasting caps lead to evacuation of CHP office

By Robert Salonga
The Contra Costa Times

MARTINEZ, Calif. The California Highway Patrol's local field office was evacuated today after a couple brought in blasting caps, an officer said.

A Martinez couple came into the office about 11:30 a.m. to drop off toys for a charity drive, said CHP Officer Scott Yox. They also brought blasting caps left over from a relative who had served in the U.S. Navy.

Yox said the couple had no ill intentions and were simply asking how they could dispose of the devices, which are typically used to detonate larger explosives.

Still, the presence of the explosive in the office prompted an immediate evacuation of about 15 people from the building in the 5000 block of Blum Street.

"They just wanted to know, 'How can we get rid of these?'" Yox said. "Unfortunately, (bringing them along) was not the best way."

After police cordoned off the office, a bomb squad from UC Berkeley gathered the devices into a steel container for disposal. People were allowed back into the building around 1 p.m., Yox said.

Copyright 2007 Contra Costa Times

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