Potato farmer speaks out about finding hand grenade in field
Published Wednesday, August 24, 2011 5:57PM CST
A farmer near Portage la Prairie shared details Wednesday about his encounter with a live hand grenade found in the dirt on his property.
Idzerd Boersma, a potato and onion farmer, was tilling his garden when he heard a sound. Boersma thought he'd hit a rock.
Boersma stepped off his tractor and discovered it was a hand grenade.
"My initial thought was that (since) the machine hit it so hard and nothing happened, it was old and defunct," he said.
Boersma wasn't sure to do with the device, so with his hand on the pin he picked it up, put it in the cup holder of his truck and drove to the Portage la Prairie RCMP detachment.
He walked in and asked to speak with an officer.
RCMP called in the military to examine the explosive device and dispose of it. The RCMP detachment was evacuated as a precaution.
"The explosive experts people at 17 Wing examined it while I was there and said it had the look and appearance of being a live hand grenade," said Cpl. Miles Hiebert from RCMP.
The grenade is believed to be a leftover from the Second World War.
While the grenade seemed initially like a dud, Boersma now realizes the situation could have ended much differently.
If by chance he stumbles across another one while tilling his garden, officials have offered advice.
"I've been told to leave it and let these guys deal with it," said Boersma.
Officers advise members of the public that if they discover any military ordinance, ammunition or explosives to leave them in place and contact RCMP or local police immediately.
- with a report from CTV's Caroline Barghout