ESSEX – Chief Constable Paul Francis reports that Essex Police and Fire Services, working with law enforcement partners, responded safely to the discovery of a shell from potentially explosive mortar in a house on Monday.
On Monday September 19 at around 10.30am Essex Police and Fire Brigade were informed that a clean-up team had discovered what appeared to be an explosive shell inside a house at the south end of Wood Drive, near Lake Chebacco.
Essex police and firefighters requested assistance from the Massachusetts State Police Bomb Squad, evacuated about six homes in the area around the house and kept boaters and swimmers away from a part of Lake Chebacco as a precaution.
Massachusetts State Police Bomb Squad soldiers determined that the shell was an inert practice shell. The cartridge was seized and will be turned over to a US Navy explosive ordnance unit for disposal. A search of the remaining rooms, garage and shed revealed no other suspicious or dangerous objects.
Police and firefighters evacuated around 1:30 p.m. No one is currently living in the house, which was being cleaned as part of the sale process. The investigation into the incident has been completed and no charges are pending. No one was injured and there is no danger or threat to the public.
“I would like to thank our partners at the Massachusetts State Police and the FBI for their assistance in this matter,” Chief Francis said. “Old, unexploded objects like this mortar shell can be very dangerous, but that’s why we have established policies and procedures to respond to these incidents safely and in conjunction with the appropriate outside agencies.”
The Essex Police Department would like to take this opportunity to remind residents that they should call 911 if they come across any dangerous, dangerous or potentially explosive objects and should not move, touch or attempt to carry such objects. In this case, the cleanup crew did everything right, leaving the dangerous object alone and contacting properly trained authorities to make the situation safe.