Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Bomb squad detonates dynamite near Pinellas incinerator

ST. PETERSBURG — Bomb squad technicians safely detonated seven sticks of dynamite on Tuesday after the explosives were found on the side of a road and taken to the county trash incinerator, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.

Ronald Knous, 52, of St. Petersburg, said he found the dynamite in a plastic bag near the northern edge of the city. St. Petersburg police said he found them near the Home Shopping Network at 2501 118th Ave. N.

Knous recognized the explosives because he has previous experience with them, according to the Sheriff's Office. He told Bay News 9 that five sticks were still wrapped and two were loose. He also said they didn't appear to be "fragile." Deputies said they were quarter-length sticks, and not full-sized sticks of dynamite.

Hoping to properly dispose of them, Knous put them in the bed of his pickup and drove to the nearby Pinellas County Solid Waste Operations and Waste-to-Energy Facility at 3095 114th Ave. N. He thought there might be a bomb disposal unit there, authorities said, but no such facility exists in Pinellas.

So he took the dynamite to the Household Electronics and Chemical Collection Center at 2855 109th Ave. N, where personnel called 911 about 9:30 a.m. The center was briefly evacuated and Knous' pickup and the explosives were left in the parking lot.

The Tampa Bay Regional Bomb Squad took the dynamite out of the pickup and set it off in an empty field near the Pinellas County solid waste facility just before 2:30 p.m., deputies said.

Authorities temporarily closed traffic on 28th Street between 109th Avenue and 118th Avenue and shut down a nearby stretch of southbound Interstate 275 just before the blast. They also warned news helicopters to stay away from the blast area.

The Sheriff's Office and the St. Petersburg Police Department will conduct a joint investigation to determine just how the dynamite ended up on the side of a public roadway in the first place.

Belleair Police Department Lt. Bill Sohl used to work with the old St. Petersburg police bomb squad before it was disbanded years ago. He said old dynamite is dangerous if it starts to sweat the explosive material nitroglycerin. That kind was used decades ago to destroy tree stumps in Florida, he said, but not so much anymore.

The modern types of dynamite are more stable, he said. But authorities did not say what kind of dynamite was found.

"What they did is the best thing they can do," Sohl said. "Put a countercharge on it and destroy it."

Times staff writer Emily Nipps contributed to this report. Jamal Thalji can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 893-8472.

Bomb squad detonates dynamite near Pinellas incinerator 08/31/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 31, 2010 8:01pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Editorial: UF shows how to preserve free speech

    Editorials

    The University of Florida was forced to navigate a treacherous terrain of constitutional concerns and public safety this week, all in a glaring public spotlight. In the end, Thursday's appearance by Richard Spencer was a success — as much as an unwelcome visit from a notorious white nationalist can be. The …

  2. Blake High grad Taylor Trensch lands lead role in 'Dear Evan Hansen' on Broadway

    Stage

    For those who saw Taylor Trensch grow up in Tampa, his rise from promising student to star is heartwarming and entirely predictable. In January, Trensch, 28, will be moving into the title role of Dear Evan Hansen on Broadway, one of the hottest tickets in theater.

    Taylor Trensch, a 2007 Blake High graduate, will play the title role in Broadway's Dear Evan Hansen. Courtesy of Frank Trensch.
  3. Editorial: When protest leads to understanding

    Editorials

    The protests against racial injustice by professional athletes across the country include examples of communities where it has not been handled well. And then there is the example set in Tampa Bay.

  4. Why it's too early to give up on the Bucs

    Bucs

    Don't panic. It's not too late for the Bucs.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) and wide receiver Mike Evans (13) celebrate after the defense recovered a fumble during the second half of an NFL game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., on Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times 

  5. Backlog of immigration cases under Trump stymies immigrants in Florida

    Courts

    It was supposed to be a routine green card renewal for a Thai woman who has called Central Florida home for years.

    Immigration lawyers such as Gerald P. Seipp of Clearwater worry that their clients' circumstances will change with long delays in their immigration court appeals, hurting their chances of staying in the country. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]