Nanaimo RCMP have evacuated part of Discontent City and have called in a bomb disposal unit after finding what police have described as an explosive device in the homeless camp Friday afternoon. GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin

UPDATE: Explosive materials were inside sharps container at B.C. tent city

Nanaimo RCMP say fireworks components being placed inside needle disposal box was ‘nothing malicious’

UPDATE: Nanaimo RCMP say it was the right call to evacuate people from an area of Discontent City yesterday, with explosive materials inside a sharps container.

RCMP’s Explosives Disposal Unit came to the homeless camp Friday night, examined the item found and removed it safely from the encampment, said Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman.

He said the items that caused the concern were parts for commercial fireworks, “which are quite volatile.”

The resident at tent city who located the materials placed them in an empty sharps container, O’Brien said.

“So EDU has advised that if in fact it was lit, because there was a fuse inside, it could have caused significant harm because of the shrapnel from the sharps container,” he said. “Nothing malicious; they just didn’t realize.”

RELATED: Person suffers burns after explosion, fire at Discontent City

Some residents were evacuated to the New Hope Centre, not the conference centre as police initially reported.

“EDU were the ones to advise to empty that portion of the encampment, because how it was described to them, it posed a significant risk to the public if there was an ignition source,” O’Brien said.

He said the investigation is continuing and “everything is back to normal” at the camp.

FRIDAY NIGHT: Nanaimo RCMP have evacuated people out of a section of Discontent City and have called in a bomb disposal unit after finding what police have described as an explosive device in the homeless camp Friday afternoon.

Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman, said the device was found shortly after 4 p.m. Police have cordoned off the area and are evacuating some of the camp’s residents.

RCMP at the scene were extending the police line outward on Friday evening.

“Our explosives disposal unit is coming over – it probably won’t get here until about 10 p.m. – and they’ll go in and assess it and take it away and safely dispose of it,” O’Brien said.

He said the device was found along the fence line across the street from Port Place shopping centre and an area within a radius of about 100 metres from where the device was located has been evacuated.

Police did not immediately elaborate on the nature or type of the explosive materials found.

The RCMP Explosives Disposal Unit is coming from Vancouver.

The incident happened the same day an injunction against the homeless camp took effect, though City of Nanaimo Mayor Bill McKay announced this afternoon that there will be no enforcement of the injunction until the B.C. Supreme Court has had a chance to consider an extension for residents to relocate. The provincial government announced earlier this month that 170 units of temporary supportive housing would be set up in Nanaimo in November.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

QUIZ: Do you know the truth?

In what has been described as a post-truth era, how much do you know about truth and lies?

Shuswap First Nations landmark project gets $10,000 boost

The funds received from the Heritage Legacy Fund will assist research and design of the project.

Opening night lineup for online Roots & Blues festival released

The first night of the festival on Aug. 14 will be stacked with favourites from previous years

Video: Enraged man terrifies staff and customers at Blind Bay restaurant

Video on Facebook shows the man hurling profanity at workers during the dinner rush on Aug. 7.

EDITORIAL: Managing wildfires

Wildfires have the potential to cause significant damage within our province

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

NHL playoffs: Canucks to meet St. Louis Blues in Round 1

Vancouver takes on defending champs beginning Wednesday

Snapshot: Parked at the park

Natalie Hextall waits on the cool grass in Salmon Arm’s Badger Park… Continue reading

Local state of emergency declared near Okanagan home

Slope failure cited as City of Penticton issues notice at home in 600 block of Heather Road

Simon Cowell breaks his back falling from electric bike

Incident happened at his home in California

Therapeutic art for sale at Okanagan show

17th annual Awakening the Spirit Art Show and Sale presented by Vernon Canadian Mental Health Assoc.

VIDEO: Internet famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer explores Vancouver Island

Gurdeep Pandher spreads joy through dance, forms cross-cultural connections amid pandemic

Tech mogul growing North Okanagan’s wine industry

The founder of online dating site Plenty of Fish is developing 900 acres in Vernon

Fentanyl-laced powder being sold as cocaine in Kamloops

Interior Health has released a warning about very strong fentanyl in Kamloops

Most Read