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High Explosives Found In Huntington Beach

John on January 12, 2006 at 9:26 am

As you can see at the top of this blog, both Scott and I live in O.C. To get specific, we both live in Huntington Beach, which is known to locals as “surf city.” And despite sounding like a small-time resort, it’s actually the 3rd largest city in Orange County and the 11th largest in California. Despite it’s size it has been rated one of the safest cities in the U.S. Very low crime.

So it’s a bit shocking to read that divers checking on algae and seaweed growth have discovered high-explosive blasting caps in our fair city. According to this story by the AP the caps seem to have been placed there in the last two days. [HT: Hugh Hewitt]

At least eight of the volatile explosives, which often are used to trigger larger explosions, were intentionally placed beneath nine to 15 feet of water near the shore, said Jim Amormino, spokesman for the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.

There was no evidence of explosives stronger than the caps, which could cause an explosion equivalent to a hand grenade, Amormino said. Cell phones were banned for several hundred feet surrounding the shoreline because their signals could detonate caps, he said.

It’s a little unclear where they were found. Several stories say near homes in Huntington Harbour. Here’s a link to a video news story of the area. There are, I believe, about 7 miles of waterways in Huntington Harbour, so this doesn’t narrow it down for me. But my first thought is simply “Who would do something like this?” As the story notes, terrorism is not suspected. One story on this speculates that someone may have stolen the caps, then panicked and dumped them.

There is some construction going on to connect the HB wetlands to the ocean via a new inlet. Work has been ongoing for months to raise PCH to make room for the new inlet which will allow more water circulation to the wetlands. It seems possible the blasting caps could have come from a project like this. I won’t speculate further, but you can believe Scott (who lives in Huntington Harbor) and I will be following this story with intense interest.

Update: In doing research for this post, I also found this story about the theft of nearly four tons of fertilizer in Huntington Beach last July. But according to this story, the fertilizer is not the kind that could be used to make an Oklahoma style bomb.

More unnerving was this story about the discovery of three pipe bombs scattered randomly around the city. And this unrelated story about a couple of teens hanging at the mall with explosives in their car.

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