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Dynamite Found Under La Jolla Home Detonated

From Associated Press

Eight hours after plumbers discovered a cache of dynamite under a home in La Jolla, experts removed and detonated the explosives in a blast heard more than a mile away.

Plumbers remodeling the Torrey Pines Road residence Thursday found the volatile, leaking dynamite in a crawl space under the living room, authorities said.

There were 30 sticks totaling about 30 or 40 pounds of dynamite, said Fire Capt. Larry Hume of the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit.

“It had deteriorated to where the nitroglycerine had leaked out of the sticks,” he said.

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Hume said investigators will try to locate the owner of the dynamite, which he said was manufactured in 1972.

“There’s no information on how long it’s been there,” Hume said. “We’ll be investigating where it came from and why it was there. It’s very unusual to find that much explosives anywhere.”

Firefighter Larry Stewart said the incident began shortly after 3 p.m. when firefighters were called to the Robert Faust residence.

Police evacuated 10 nearby homes and closed Torrey Pines Road as technicians gingerly lifted the dynamite, which was stored in an old wine crate. Stewart said the nitroglycerine had also contaminated the ground under the box, causing more concern for firefighters.

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The dynamite was placed in a steel trailer and, at 9:30 p.m., a caravan of firefighters, police, California Highway Patrol officers, paramedics and reporters headed northeast about 10 miles toward Mira Mesa.

Police cleared California 52 and Interstate 805 for the half-mile-long procession, which traveled at 15 to 25 m.p.h.

At 11:15 p.m., Hume’s crew detonated the cache with a charge of blasting caps. Firefighters expected a fireball from the exploding acetone and nitroglycerine, but there was only a quick flash.

“It was a good bang, though,” Hume said.

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