Nova Scotia

Grand Desert homes evacuated after Cole Harbour suspicious package incident

A second evacuation order has been issued in the community of Grand Desert in connection to a suspicious package containing hazardous chemicals found on Lakeridge Crescent in Cole Harbour earlier Tuesday.

Fives homes on Dyke Road evacuated while RCMP deal with " hazardous and volatile chemicals "

RCMP vehicle at the scene of an evacuation in the community of Grand Desert Tuesday night. (CBC)

A second evacuation order has been issued in the community of Grand Desert in connection to a suspicious package containing hazardous chemicals found on Lakeridge Crescent in Cole Harbour earlier Tuesday.

Early Tuesday evening, RCMP tweeted that five homes on Dyke Road were being evacuated and residents told to relocate for the night. RCMP said they had found hazardous and volatile chemicals in a cottage on the road.

The Canadian Red Cross says it will help find places for people to stay overnight if they don`t have a place to go. Residents have been warned they could be out of their homes for 24 to 48 hours.

In the morning, RCMP said officers went door to door, advising residents within a 100-metre radius of 54 Lakeridge Cres. in Cole Harbour, of the order to evacuate as a "precautionary measure."

According to RCMP, the package was discovered at 9:20 p.m. Monday at the home and they were called shortly after. The evacuation order was issued Tuesday morning.

Late Tuesday afternoon, RCMP tweeted that the package was examined and determined it contained hazardous chemicals, but no explosives. The Hazmat team removed the package from the garage of the home.

The streets initially evacuated were Lakeridge Crescent, Parkedge Crescent and Rockhaven Court.

However, residents were allowed back in their homes​ at around 5 p.m.

"It’s precaution because when we find suspicious packages such as this, and we’re not sure of the contents of the package at this time, it is protocol that we provide was much safety as possible to the citizens of the area," Cpl. Greg Church said.

Early Tuesday afternoon, neighbourhood residents were seen coming and going from the subdivision, collecting pets and personal belongings. By mid-afternoon Tuesday, Parkedge Crescent had reopened to traffic, except at the intersection of Lakeridge Crescent.

Bethany Rideout comes to retrieve her bunny, Baby, from evacuated area of Cole Harbour. (Craig Paisley/CBC)

The Mounties expanded their search to two other locations, including one on Parkedge Crescent in Cole Harbour and another on Dyke Road in Grand Desert.

In a release late Tuesday afternoon, RCMP said the home on Parkedge Crescent was searched and cleared. At the time, they said the address in Grand Desert would be searched by the RCMP Explosive Disposal Unit into the evening.

Church would not say what the connection between the package and the properties was.

"Through the investigation from last night and early into this morning, information came forward  that linked two other scenes to this scene in Cole Harbour," he said.

Police looking for witnesses

Church says they have made no arrests and have no suspects.

"There are people of interest we would like to speak with in relation to this investigation , witnesses, more or less, to help us determine the contents of the package," he said.

Neighbours said the house police are guarding was sold about two months ago and no one was living in it while it was undergoing renovations.

Evacuated resident Ken Ford came home to collect his pets.

"I heard about it through the internet and on the radio, so I came home to get the dog, make sure everything is OK," he said.

Ford says when he left for work, nothing out of the ordinary was happening on the street.

"I brought out the garbage this morning and noticed a few police cars down there, we just don’t know what’s going on. Then following the news on the internet, I heard the rest of it, with the bomb scare, or interesting package, whatever it is," he said.


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