A worn backpack containing six hand grenades and other explosives was discovered Monday in a drainage ditch in Placentia, Calif., prompting the evacuation of nearby businesses.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Department said that workers discovered the backpack around 9 a.m. Inside the pack were the grenades, blasting caps, fuse igniters, black and white powders and two canisters.
Sheriff department spokesman Jim Amormino told msnbc.com that the items “are very volatile” and that the hand grenades appeared to be live. Officials initially believed there were two hand grenades but later counted four more.
“The longer the backpack has been here, the more volatile these items are,” Amormino said.
In addition to the grenades, the backpack contained black powder, white powder, an unknown type of fuse igniters, blasting caps, grenade fuses and two canisters.
It wasn’t immediately known how the backpack wound up in the ditch.
The sheriff department bomb squad was on the scene. The street running over the channel, Lakeview Avenue, has been closed, The Associated Press reported. Businesses have been evacuated.
Msnbc.com’s Isolde Raftery contributed to this report.
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