Dynamite Discovery Forces Evacuation of Homes in West Memphis

April 21, 2005 -- Posted at 11:30 p.m. CDT, updated at 7:38 a.m. on 4/22/05

West Memphis, AR -- 21st and Harrison Streets in West Memphis are quiet now, but earlier on Thursday, the streets were filled with frantic residents.

"This morning, a guy cleaning out his shed found two sticks of dynamite. He showed it around the neighborhood and put it on the side of the street, and a garbage truck came and picked up the debris and picked up the dynamite. We secured it and secured the neighborhood," said West Memphis Inspector Bill Sanders.

For several hours, residents waited to hear why they were so quickly and cautiously evacuated from their homes.

"They told us that we needed to be evacuated from the premises because there was the threat of a bomb explosion," said one nervous resident.

The West Memphis Police, Memphis Bomb Squad, and the bureau of Alcohol Tobacco & Firearms took the dynamite to an open field, disposing of it appropriately.

"We're waiting for the Memphis Bomb Squad to locate it inside the debris, and then we're going to make it safe by drowning it with diesel fuel and drowning it off," said Sanders.