MERIDIAN, Miss (WTOK) - It was an interesting Tuesday afternoon and evening for one local antique shop. Police, fire and other emergency officials were called after an employee found a hand grenade inside the store.
“We treat every device as if it were real,” Public Safety Director Doug Stevens says.
It was around 2:00 p.m. Tuesday afternoon when authorities were called to the Antique Mall on Roebuck Drive near Myrtle Drive.
“An Employee found it in a box and then called us after they found it. We have been on the scene with them,” Lauderdale County Emergency Management Director Odie Barrett says.
The area surrounding the antique shop was immediately cordoned off. Authorities making sure everyone was a safe distance from the grenade.
“Even if there were to be a catastrophic event, it would not be devastating to any of the people here,” Stevens says.
Authorities say they know there are a number of replica or decommissioned practice grenades that make their way to antique shops, but they wanted to use extra caution just in case.
“We are not sure exactly what’s been done to the device. We don’t know if it’s active, we don’t know if it has been re-purposed or if someone has put a material in there that is explosive,” Stevens says.
Stevens says there is the possibility of more similar items inside the store, but didn’t want to speculate. He says it’s always good to be on the safe side of things when it comes to this type of discovery.
“One of the employees was under the impression that he was not sure what it was. If you come across something and you’re unsure and don’t have specifics on the device, notify law enforcement and your emergency responders,” Stevens says.
The area has been blocked off and crews are waiting on bomb technicians from Jackson.