ORDNANCE FOUND AT PCB TREATMENT SITE ON SAIPAN

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By John Ravelo

SAIPAN, Northern Mariana Islands (May 9, 2002 – Saipan Tribune)---Workers at the PCB treatment site in Tanapag unearthed several pieces of vintage ordnance, prompting the Emergency Management Office (EMO) to dispatch its men to the site and recover the explosives.

EMO Deputy Director Mark S. Pangelinan said his men recovered a total of two live Japanese hand grenades and 14 empty shells of 105-millimeter projectile in two separate instances recently.

Yesterday, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ representative Frank Ono said in a separate interview that an empty shell of an unidentified type of cylindrical ordnance measuring close to a foot in length and about 4 inches in diameter was also found at the PCB treatment site Monday.

As this developed, Ono said the Corps "borrowed" different kinds of spent ordnance from the EMO, to orient site workers on how these look like. An ordnance expert has been detailed at the site.

Pangelinan said a grenade and 13 empty shells of projectiles were first discovered by the workers Wednesday last week, prompting them to call the EMO for assistance.

The following day, another grenade and an empty shell were unearthed from the PCB treatment site.

When the Saipan Tribune visited the treatment site yesterday, it found several ordnance items lying on the floor of the container van office within the site.

These were of different sizes, though all are cylindrical in shape. The biggest was more than a foot in length and about 5 inches in diameter.

But Ono said they were not live and were merely borrowed from the EMO, so that PCB treatment workers can recognize ordnance whenever they find any.

"Instead of picking them up, just leave them there and leave it to EMO," Ono said of the instruction to workers.

The empty shell that was found Monday, according to Ono, was in the custody of Harmon Slappy, the site’s ordnance expert.

For additional reports from The Saipan Tribune, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/The Saipan Tribune.

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