SALINA, Kan. - A Salina, Kan., landscaper got an unexpected surprise while he was mowing July 16. He discovered two 500-pound bombs located behind a business on the 700 block of York Street in Salina. The landscaper notified the Salina Police Department.
Lt. Gerald Shaft, Salina Police Department, said, "He was mowing back behind York Street and found two smaller bombs filled with concrete. They were going to be scrapped but were left."
Neither the officer nor landscaper knew what the two bombs were filled with at the time of discovery.
Shaft said, "The bombs were sold to Salina Iron and Metal as scrap from the Smoky Hills Range, (Salina, Kan.)." Shaft said he contacted the 774th Explosive Ordnance Disposal Company at Fort Riley.
Sgt. 1st Class Jason J. Johnson, of the 774th EOD Co., said, "We answer requests from state, local and federal sources. The company's response area is Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and four counties in Missouri. We do not, however, answer civilian requests to respond. Civilians must contact their local law enforcement or fire department, and then we respond to law enforcement and fire department requests."
Johnson said, "There's always a certain level of excitement dealing with these kinds of situations. But the police department handled the matter calmly and professionally. Situations like this are not that uncommon."
Maj. Steve Petersen, S3 for the 84th Explosive Ordnance Disposal Battalion, said, "The bombs that were found were actually training bombs. They (Salina Police) called us just to make sure they were safe."
Petersen said, "When called to a site where there are actual explosives involved the first thing we do is determine whether it is safe to move. If it is, then we'll bring it back to the installation or to an approved disposal range to dispose of it. After being checked and determining that these bombs were inert, they were retained at the recycling plant in Salina."
He said, "So far this year, we have responded to about 50 requests off-installation and over 150 on-post incidents."