Bomb squad blasts old explosives during planned operation


NORTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (WPRI) — North Kingstown residents who may have heard or felt some explosions Friday have no reason to be alarmed, according to State Fire Marshal Chief Deputy John Dean.

The barrage of noises and tremors was part of explosive disposal operations at the Rhode Island Air National Guard base in Quonset.

“We had some stuff that we determined we should no longer be holding onto. The time had come to get rid of them,” Dean explained.

Dean said because there isn’t an infinite amount of storage at the base, his team has to do this every so often to free up space. His team digs holes around the site and whatever is being blown up is put inside.

“Ammunition, explosives that are no longer good, explosives components,” Dean said.

Items seized by police are sometimes also discarded, according to Dean. Friday’s operation included fireworks and old materials used to train K-9 units.

Dean said they try to be good neighbors and alert people about the disposal operations ahead of time. Explosions create energy waves and he said it’s possible they were felt in some of the East Bay communities.

“The waves will travel through the water, they’ll generally pick up speed and when they contact land again on the other side you may feel that impact,” Dean said.

Dean said the cold weather Friday increased the chances that other communities felt the explosions. The state fire marshal holds the operations anywhere from one to three times a year.

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