Signal Hill Police Department (SHPD) and Los Angeles Sherriff’s Department (LASD) officers removed an inert World War II-era hand grenade from a hazardous-waste bin on March 10 at the EDCO Recycling Center located at California Avenue and 28th Street.
SHPD Lt. Ron Sagmit said officers were sent to the facility at approximately 10am.
Police units evacuated the building and positioned themselves along California Avenue between Willow and 28th streets. The SHPD urged citizens to avoid the area via Twitter.
Sagmit said members of the LASD Arson/ Explosives Unit were called to assist. They entered the facility to examine and remove the device.
EDCO’s facility manager, Efrain Ramirez, said in an email that he did not know the full details of the situation. However, he told the Signal Tribune that the grenade was found during a household-hazardous waste (HHW) collection event, which took place at the company’s facility.
HHW programs are free collection events where residents can properly dispose of hazardous materials. Events are hosted every weekend at a temporary location or permanent center such as the EDCO facility, according to the Los Angeles County Public Works.
A County contractor discovered the grenade while sorting through hazardous waste, according to a public works spokesperson. It was unknowingly collected from a resident’s vehicle along with other HHW materials.
LASD Arson/ Explosives Sgt. John Hanson confirmed with the Signal Tribune during a phone interview on Tuesday that the device found at EDCO’s facility was a Mk 2 fragmentation grenade– also known as a pineapple grenade because of the shape of its exterior shell.
Hanson said that it was determined upon examination that the grenade did not have explosive capabilities.
“It was in its original container,” he said. “But it was determined to be inert.”
Authorities are still investigating where the grenade came from, and whether or not its placement in the facility was accidental or voluntary.
“We have no information that leads us to believe either way,” Sagmit said. “No one called in a threat, but we don’t know how it got there.”
The lieutenant said members of his staff were informed of a possible region from where the grenade originated, but he could not specify the location.
Both Hanson and Sagmit said investigations on the matter are still ongoing.