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Controlled detonation in Orinda

By Jonathan Morales
Friday, October 23rd, 2009 at 10:11 am in Lamorinda, Moraga, Orinda.

In case you heard a ‘splosion in Orinda yesterday, here’s why (from the city):

A controlled detonation of explosive materials occurred in the 600 block of Miner Road late this afternoon at 6:30 pm. Orinda Police, MOFD and the Walnut Creek Police Bomb Squad was on scene. The detonation was non hazardous and under the supervision of the police department. The materials, which were old biology samples containing small amounts of crystallized picric acid, had become unstable. The materials were voluntarily turned over to police for destruction. For the safety of the surrounding community, Police officials determined the safest, and most effective method to destroy the materials was to detonate it near its current location so to avoid traveling with it throughout the community. At this time, the matter has been taken care of and there is no threat of harm to the public.

This came up at last night’s quad-agency meeting (story coming later today) during discussion about emergency preparedness and inter-agency communications. City Manager Janet Keeter said the city has a reverse 911 system they wanted to use to let people in the area know what was going on, but the county sheriff’s office felt the incident wasn’t serious enough to activate it.

As the various agencies move forward in talking about this issue, something that is sure to come up — and was alluded to last night — is the balance between trying to inform people and trying to not cause unnecessary panics.

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