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Valdez Police Department
Wednesday February 26th, 2014 :: 03:17 p.m. AKST


Valdez Police Department EOD response to Cordova

On January 27th, 2014, the State of Alaska Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management contacted the Valdez Police Department EOD [Explosive Ordinance Disposal] and requested a response to an uninhabited island near Cordova.

A day prior a pair of trappers had discovered a cache of old and unexploded dynamite and reported the discovery to the US Forest Service Ranger in Cordova. The Ranger confirmed that the discovery appeared to be explosives and requested assistance from the nearest EOD team. Valdez Police Department EOD efforts to immediately respond were hampered by severe weather and an abundance of sea ice that caused the Port of Valdez to be blocked and inaccessible.

On February 4th, 2014, two members of the Valdez Police Department EOD team responded to the south end of Observation Island with US Forest Service personnel. VPD members confirmed the presence of explosives, identifying the items as 1950’s era gel-based dynamite measuring approximately 6” in diameter and 18 - 24” in length. Valdez Police EOD utilized standard unexploded ordinance disposal practice and elected to countercharge the aged and potentially sensitive explosives in place.

Prior to detonating the controlled countercharge, law enforcement personnel established a secure perimeter, verified the island was unoccupied, and notified any citizens within potential visual range of the explosion. Strategic placement of the countercharge by the Valdez Police EOD minimized any damage to the existing ecosystem and foliage on Observation Island.

Prior to leaving the island, law enforcement personnel removed all trace of the countercharged explosives and conducted a search of the area for any additional undetonated explosives. Mission accomplished, the Valdez Police EOD team members returned to Valdez late on the evening of February 4th, assisted by personnel with the US Forest Service, SERVS, Crowley Marine, and South West Alaska Pilots Association.

Valdez Police Department
212 Chenega Ave
Valdez, AK 99686

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 907-835-4560

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