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

PHOTOS: City of Colwood hosts a ‘heartwarming start’ to the holidays

Colwood Christmas Light Up Celebration sees surge in attendance

Trauma sufferers support group takes shape on West Shore

Aaron’s Society open to more peer support groups with certified trauma practitioners

Mental health call temporarily shuts down Trans Canada Highway in View Royal

West Shore RCMP cite 14 percent increase in calls concerning mental health in 2019

B.C. Transit saves $300,000, scores 28 used fareboxes idle in California

‘Someone joked maybe we can buy used fareboxes on eBay,’ CEO says

Tenants above Wellburns uncertain after ‘nightmare’ sewage flood ousts them indefinitely

Tenants evacuated after sewage flooded basement of century-old building

VIDEO: John Lennon’s iconic Rolls Royce rolls into Camosun College for checkup

Royal BC Museum, Camosun College and Coachwerks Restorations come together to care for car

POLL: Will you be donating to charities over the holiday season?

Many here in Victoria joined others around the world to take part… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Dec. 3

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

VIDEO: Rockslide closes part of Highway 93 in Fairmont Hot Springs

Geotechnical team called in to do an assessment after rocks fell from hoodoos

Petition calls for appeal of ex-Burns Lake mayor’s sentence for sex assault

Prosecution service says Luke Strimbold’s case is under review

Northwest B.C. wildlife shelter rescues particularly tiny bear cub

Shelter co-founder says the cub weighs less than a third of what it should at this time of year

BC firefighters to help battle Australian bushfires

Canada sent 22 people, including 7 from B.C.

B.C. NDP touts the end of MSP premiums

Horgan, James held news conference to reiterate that people will get their last bill this month

Oscar Hickes: Longest running hockey tournament on Vancouver Island cancelled

Patrick Murray, one of the organizers for the tournament, broke the sad news on social media.

Most Read