Military detonate fuses at beach

Police and the army dealt with an explosive situation in Kakanui yesterday after a chance discovery in a person's garage.

A man called Oamaru police after he discovered several detonators and a spool of Cordtex while cleaning out his father's garage.

Cordtex is a detonation cord usually used in mining, and has an explosive core of pentaerythritol tetranitrate inside its plastic coating.

Senior Constable Dean Paterson, of Oamaru, visited the scene and assessed the situation before calling in a team from the Burnham Military Camp south of Christchurch.

The team safely removed the material from the Springfield Rd address at Totara and prepared it for detonation.

"We called the army down and they took it down to Campbells Bay, where they buried about a metre deep it so it didn't frag or anything and they blew it up," he said.

Before that Snr Const Paterson cordoned off an area of the beach, which he said was the safest possible place to detonate the material.

"It's a good spot because it's isolated and easy to set up a cordon."

It was not known how old the material was, but it was likely it had been stored for some time.

"His dad was an old miner from the West Coast. I think back in the day they used it for cutting down trees and that kind of thing."

He said it was unusual for police in Oamaru to respond to such incidents.

"Sometimes, and it's mainly older people, have been cleaning out something and find something and they don't know what it is. But, we don't get too many of those."

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