A Waywayseecappo First Nation family that lived with a rocket in their backyard for more than a year finally saw it hauled away by a bomb squad.
According to the family’s mother, Bernadette Sumner, the three-foot shell was first unearthed three years ago after her late father dug it up while cultivating his nearby lawn. After he passed away, her son dragged the assumed explosive device home, leaving it in her yard.
"He brought it home and it’s been in our yard for over a year," she said.
Sumner said they first told police about it a year ago when her son first brought it home. However, she said police "thought it was a joke" and doesn’t think a report was filed.
"I don’t know if they actually came and looked at it at that time," Sumner said, adding her family wasn’t too concerned about the apparent military rocket sitting in their backyard.
At least until an RCMP officer came by on Wednesday to take a look at the supposed bomb.
"Then we got worried because he said it looked like something dangerous," Sumner said.
RCMP said they were advised on what appeared to be some type of explosive device located in the backyard of a residence situated on Highway 45 at about 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday.
They spent much of that night and Thursday guarding the area, waiting for the bomb disposal unit to come, according to Sumner.
RCMP said Thursday evening they had obtained assistance from the members of the Royal Canadian Air Force Explosive Ordinance Disposal Unit from 17 Wing in Winnipeg. The team was expected to arrive last night.
Cpl. Gord Lethbridge of the Wayway RCMP was dumbfounded when he saw what is described as a military shell.
"I have never come across anything like this before," said. "We don’t know what it is."
Assuming the alleged bomb is live, Sumner was told the disposal unit needs about two kilometres to safely detonate it.
It’s unclear from what era the shell is, but Sumner said it’s at least 10 years old.
CFB Shilo spokesperson Lori Truscott said it’s "highly unlikely" it was from any sort of military training.
"Who knows what people do when they decide to take souvenirs home?"
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition June 21, 2013