OCEAN CITY – At least three explosive devices were found along the shoreline in Ocean City this week, with the third detonated on purpose yesterday afternoon on the beach near 11th Street, while town officials and law enforcement personnel continued to search for more of the mysterious blasting caps.
The first of three blasting caps was found on the beach at 15th Street on Tuesday, while another turned up near the shoreline at 50th Street on Wednesday. The first two found were carefully transported to the State Fire Marshal’s Office in Baltimore for further investigation.
A third blasting cap was found on the beach near 11th Street yesterday morning, and by mid-day explosives experts from the Ocean City Fire Marshal’s Office detonated it on the beach. Officially, the Fire Marshal’s Office “interrupted” the device.
It remains uncertain where the potentially dangerous blasting caps are coming from and why they are washing up on the beach in Ocean City. However, Ocean City Police Department spokesman Barry Neeb said yesterday the devices are of the commercial variety and likely fell off a boat working off the coast of Ocean City or Assateague.
Blasting caps, also referred to as detonators, are explosive devices used to set off larger explosions. They are often used in mining operations although they have many commercial applications. They come in many forms including non-electric caps, electric caps or fuse caps. The devices found on the beach in Ocean City this week were non-electric caps.
The three devices found in Ocean City were each attached to a 20-foot orange tube and had an aluminum end approximately four inches in length and a quarter inch in diameter. They are considered highly volatile, according to the fire marshal’s office.
“If any type of object matching that description is found, do not touch or move the object,” the fire marshal’s statement reads. “They are extremely dangerous and sensitive. Immediately call 911 and keep at least 300 feet clear until police arrive. These caps are very sensitive and, if moved, could detonate without warning.”
Neeb took it a step further. He advised anybody who finds one of the blasting caps to immediately call 911 but also advised to move away from the device if a cell phone is used to make the call because a cell phone could trigger detonation.
Late yesterday, police officers, fire marshal’s office officials and public works officials continued to scour the beach for more of the explosive devices.
“We’re proactively searching the beach for more of these things,” he said.