There was a spool of what looked like some kind of cord but with it were several sticks of something with fuses sticking out of one end. The sticks looked very much like dynamite.
So the resident did what any sane person would do. He called the sheriff.
The man told deputies that his father probably had brought the cord and the explosive sticks home with him about 30 years ago while he was working in the oil field.
Deputy Lt. Ronnie Jones said the man’s father had worked in the oil field back when explosives were not as tightly regulated as they are now.
Deputies recognized the cord as detonating cord, commonly known as “det cord.”
Jones said the cord, by itself, is highly explosive and the BCSO’s special weapons and tactics team uses it to blow open doors.
“Apparently the father had brought the items home one day and had stored them in the shed where they had sat for about 30 years. The items found in the shed included six sticks of explosives that looked similar to dynamite and a spool containing approximately 500-800 feet of highly explosive det cord,” the deputy said.
Carrizales was informed of the discovery and he directed the responding deputy to take photographs of the items and send them to Corpus Christi.
Members of the CCPD’s Bomb Squad looked at the photos and confirmed that they were older and highly explosive.
“Considering that explosives can deteriorate and become unstable over time, the area was secured and the CCPD Bomb Squad met with the deputy at the residence,” Jones said.
The bomb experts placed the items in a special container trailer and took them to the BCSO firing range at the Bee County Exposition Center.
The bomb experts safely exploded the two items using det cord they had brought with them. Deputies and the bomb team made sure they were a safe distance from the items when they blew. But residents several miles from the range reported hearing the larger blast when two pounds of new det cord were used to destroy the old cord.
Jones said the bomb experts told deputies that nothing would remain of the items set off in the explosion. That proved to be true. Nothing was left.
One of the bomb technicians estimated that the explosion at the range was probably five times more powerful than the recent terrorist blast in Boston.
Carrizales said he was not surprised that someone in Bee County would find old explosives left over from earlier days in the oil field.
“Oil field workers in the ’70s and ’80s would sometimes bring home explosives to use around house or ranch for removing debris or tree stumps,” Jones said.
Carrizales urged all county residents to use extreme caution if they should find anything that they suspect is an explosive. Anything that looks suspicious should be reported to the sheriff’s office so that the experts can be called in to dispose of the material.
Gary Kent is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 120, or at reporter@mySouTex.com.