By Marion Ali
Police found another grenade on Mayflower Street on Wednesday, September 10 according to Senior Superintendent of Police, Edward Broaster.
Broaster told reporters that police received a call around 10 on the morning of the 10th holiday. He said that Belize Defense Force Commander and bomb expert, Brigadier General David Jones, who was already in Belize City attending the formal ceremony for the 10th, was able to quickly move to the scene and safely remove the device.
Along with the grenade, authorities also found a .38 calibre revolver.
Broaster explained that the tip about the weapons came as part of the Police Department’s “Not in My City” campaign.
Jones told The Reporter that the grenade, which was in a bag, was slightly corroded and extremely dangerous.
“Because one of the safety pins was missing, this grenade could have caused a mass casualty situation,” Jones explained.
He added that war grenades come with two safety pins and removing any of them makes the device all the more likely to detonate.
Upon explosion the grenade is so deadly that it can cause casualties of up to 200 meters away (about 656 feet), serious casualties within 50 meters (about 164 feet), and deadly force within 15 meters (49.2 feet) from the point of explosion, Jones shared.
It would, however, take more than someone kicking it in a crowd to trigger an explosion. The pin would have had to be removed, he said.
Jones said that this is the second American-type grenade to have been recovered.
The first American-type grenade was discovered last Saturday on Banak Street within the same general area.
Jones said that the “lemon shaped” M 26 type grenade was similar to the one retrieved from Banak Street, which was an M 67 American-type device. The police at the time reported to the media that the grenade found last week was a British grenade.
He explained that these types of explosives are used in other Central American countries, motably in Nicaragua, Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala.
It must have been smugled in illegall because the US military does not bring grenades for use in Belize, Jones explained.
He shared that the BDF has secured the two grenades found this week and will destroy both of them next week.
Jones urged, that if anyone should find one or more of these devices, he or she should alert the police immediately. It is common knowledge that at least 17 British-type grenades, stolen many years ago, are still unaccounted for.
Broaster said the police do not believe that both grenades were set by the same person.
The device found on Wednesday was set there a mere half hour before the police received the tip that it was there, according to Broaster.
He added that there was no danger that the tipster(s) in either of the two incidents could be harmed because the tip was confidential.
Broaster said that the police have no information to suggest that the grenade would have been used in a crowded area, as was the case in September of 2009, when a British-type grenade was found near the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital on the day of the carnival road march.
Broaster dismissed a suggestion that the authorities are “planting” these devices to gain the confidence of the public. The police would never do something like that which could jeopardize lives, he said.