Nanaimo RCMP have evacuated part of Discontent City and have called in a bomb disposal unit after finding what police have described as an explosive device in the homeless camp Friday afternoon. GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin

UPDATE: Explosive materials were inside sharps container at Vancouver Island tent city

Nanaimo RCMP say fireworks components being placed inside needle disposal box was ‘nothing malicious’

UPDATE: Nanaimo RCMP say it was the right call to evacuate people from an area of Discontent City yesterday, with explosive materials inside a sharps container.

RCMP’s Explosives Disposal Unit came to the homeless camp Friday night, examined the item found and removed it safely from the encampment, said Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman.

He said the items that caused the concern were parts for commercial fireworks, “which are quite volatile.”

The resident at tent city who located the materials placed them in an empty sharps container, O’Brien said.

“So EDU has advised that if in fact it was lit, because there was a fuse inside, it could have caused significant harm because of the shrapnel from the sharps container,” he said. “Nothing malicious; they just didn’t realize.”

RELATED: Person suffers burns after explosion, fire at Discontent City

Some residents were evacuated to the New Hope Centre, not the conference centre as police initially reported.

“EDU were the ones to advise to empty that portion of the encampment, because how it was described to them, it posed a significant risk to the public if there was an ignition source,” O’Brien said.

He said the investigation is continuing and “everything is back to normal” at the camp.

FRIDAY NIGHT: Nanaimo RCMP have evacuated people out of a section of Discontent City and have called in a bomb disposal unit after finding what police have described as an explosive device in the homeless camp Friday afternoon.

Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman, said the device was found shortly after 4 p.m. Police have cordoned off the area and are evacuating some of the camp’s residents.

RCMP at the scene were extending the police line outward on Friday evening.

“Our explosives disposal unit is coming over – it probably won’t get here until about 10 p.m. – and they’ll go in and assess it and take it away and safely dispose of it,” O’Brien said.

He said the device was found along the fence line across the street from Port Place shopping centre and an area within a radius of about 100 metres from where the device was located has been evacuated.

Police did not immediately elaborate on the nature or type of the explosive materials found.

The RCMP Explosives Disposal Unit is coming from Vancouver.

The incident happened the same day an injunction against the homeless camp took effect, though City of Nanaimo Mayor Bill McKay announced this afternoon that there will be no enforcement of the injunction until the B.C. Supreme Court has had a chance to consider an extension for residents to relocate. The provincial government announced earlier this month that 170 units of temporary supportive housing would be set up in Nanaimo in November.

Just Posted

Port Alberni RCMP identify suspect in locker room thefts

Multiple complaints came in about thefts from Echo Centre lockers

Logging truck accident briefly closes Franklin River Road near Port Alberni

A single vehicle rollover involving a logging truck temporarily closed Franklin River… Continue reading

Sports shorts: camps for kids, BC lawn bowling finals in Port Alberni

Lawn bowling BCs Port Alberni Lawn Bowling Club will host the provincial… Continue reading

Set wizards make it happen at Mainstage Festival in Port Alberni

Eight plays in eight nights means turnover timelines are tight

Diary of Anne Frank, Cherry Docs dominate Mainstage 2019 awards

Annual theatre competition wraps up in Port Alberni

Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman sentenced to life in prison

Experts say he will likely wind up at the federal government’s Supermax prison in Florence, Colorado

Olympic softball qualifier gets $150K boost from provincial government

2019 Americas Qualifier to be held in Surrey from Aug. 25-Sept. 1

Gas price inquiry questions Trans Mountain capacity, company denies collusion

The first of up to four days of oral hearings in the inquiry continue in Vancouver

‘Benzos’ and fentanyl a deadly cocktail causing a growing concern on B.C. streets

Overdoses caused by benzodiazepines can’t be reversed with opioid-overdose antidote naloxone

Chinook retention begins on North Island, but amid new size limit

DFO calls measures ‘difficult but necessary’ following rockslide on Fraser River

Will you be celebrating national hotdog day with any of these crazy flavours?

The popularity of hotdogs spans generations, cultures

Former home of accused Penticton shooter vandalized

Ex-wife of man who is accused of murdering four people had her house vandalized

Injured humpback returns to waters near Comox a year later

Photographer spotted Ocular near Comox again and noticed the whale has been healing

Survivor of near-drowning in B.C. lake viewing life through new eyes

“If I died that day, the baby wouldn’t know his dad,” said 31-year-old Mariano Santander-Melo.

Most Read