Grenade Exploded In Harrison County - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

06/16/04

Grenade Exploded In Harrison County

On Sunday, Jimmy Purvis made a potentially explosive discovery in the abandoned home next to his in laws.

"I was walking through one of the bedrooms," Purvis said, "and on top of a box, there was a grenade."

Purvis immediately called his father in law. But Darryl Ogle wasn't sure what to do. So he waited until Wednesday morning before he finally called the FBI. The federal agents then contacted the Biloxi bomb squad.

According to bomb squad technician Tim Hendricks, "The grenade appeared to be roughly a World War II type grenade."

Several hundred yards away, Jerry Bradley and her nine year old grandson Tyler couldn't get home, because they weren't allowed past a temporary roadblock. So Bradley got on her cell phone, and called home.

"The sheriff's man said it shouldn't be too much longer," she told a relative.

Just then, the words "fire in the hole" echoed through the trees lining Road 429. Hendricks explained why the warning was issued.

"Instead of transporting it, like I said, we decided that it would be safe just to counter charge it and detonate it here," he said.

Six seconds after the third warning, an explosion shook the earth. The grenade was gone.

A Sheriff's Deputy got on his radio.

"Just to advise you, they did detonate the explosive device," he told dispatchers.

The nine year old grandchild was somewhat stunned at what he just witnessed.

"It just like shocked me," Tyler said. "It felt like a shock in your heart. It was like boom."

The boom blew a crater in Ogle's yard. You see, the bomb squad buried the grenade next to his pond, and then destroyed it. Purvis was in his in law's house when the explosion shook its foundation.

"When that thing went off," he said, "it kind of surprised me, because I didn't think it would be real."

Bomb squad technicians didn't say whether the grenade was still active when they found it. That should be determined by tests a crime lab will do on the grenade debris. The FBI is looking into this case.

by Brad Kessie

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