British Columbia

Explosive device found in Vancouver storage locker, police say

Vancouver Police on Wednesday revealed why a storage facility at West Seventh Avenue and Manitoba Street and nearby buildings were evacuated the previous day – an explosive device they say could have caused extensive damage.

'Our focus ... is to determine exactly how that explosive device ended up in that storage locker'

Numerous police officers and vehicles on scene Tuesday outside a Vancouver storage facility where police say they discovered explosives in a locker. (CBC)

The Vancouver Police Department is investigating how an improvised explosive device got into a storage locker in a neighbourhood located close to downtown.

In a statement released Wednesday, the VPD says officers were called to a storage facility at West Seventh Avenue and Manitoba Street at 11:30 a.m., Tuesday, after someone reported what they suspected were explosives in a locker there.

VPD spokesperson Randy Fincham says their suspicions were correct.

"Certainly the explosive device was of a size that could cause extensive damage to that building or anyone found in that building," he said.

Police say when explosives technicians examined the locker Tuesday, they decided to evacuate the building and several nearby buildings as well.

Following the evacuation, police say its technicians had disabled the explosive.

Fincham confirmed it as an improvised explosive device but would not give specifics for "investigative reasons." 

"This is certainly an explosive device we had concerns about," he said. "It wasn't something you'd traditionally see on the streets of Vancouver."

When asked if it was a pipe bomb, Fincham replied: "Could be something like that."

The VPD's Major Crimes Section is now involved in the investigation. Fincham says the next step is to get a search warrant to look at the rest of the storage locker.

"Our focus right now is to determine exactly how that explosive device ended up in that storage locker, who placed it there," Fincham said.

Fincham would not disclose who found the alleged explosive.

He said police need to confirm who owned the locker and who had access to it.

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