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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Campbell River’s Coldest Night of the Year 2020 another great success

Transition Society now turns its attention to its next fundraiser – a first for the organization

Campbell River man who pulled a gun on off-duty police officer sentenced to two years in prison

Encounter also lead police to a home where 100 guns and explosives were found

Kin Canada celebrates 100 years of supporting community

Campbell River also gets a Kinettes club again, looks to build membership

Campbell River City Council approves Voodoo Lounge liquor license transfer to Acklands Granger building (but with conditions)

Final decision on the transfer, however, rests with the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch

PHOTOS: Campbell River athletes return from BC Winter Games with 9 medals

Judo competitors earned 4 medals, while Karate athletes took home 5 medals

VIDEO: Reconciliation is dead: Wet’suwet’en supporters vow to keep protesting at B.C. legislature

Supporters say they will continue ongoing action to hold government accountable

VIDEO: Province promotes ‘lifting each other up’ on 13th annual Pink Shirt Day

Students, MLAs, community members gathered at B.C. Parliament Buildings Wednesday

Prepare for new coronavirus like an emergency, health minister advises

About 81,000 people around the world have now become ill with COVID-19

B.C. residents in Wet’suwet’en territory have right to police presence: Public Safety Minister

Nevertheless, Bill Blair said officials remain ‘very anxious’ for the barricades to come down

Winnipeg police investigating graffiti on RCMP and other buildings

Manitoba Justice Minister Cliff Cullen denounced the vandalism

Nanaimo woman to compete in new season of ‘Big Brother Canada’

Carol Rosher, a cancer survivor, is one of 16 houseguests appearing on reality TV show

B.C. seniors’ watchdog calls for better oversight after recent problems at Retirement Concepts care homes

‘There is no financial incentive right now to be a good operator’ - Isobel Mackenzie

Blockade reroutes traffic on Pat Bay Highway

About 80 people from four major Peninsula First Nations blocking major highway

Trucking company fined $175K for Kootenay creek fuel spill

Decision handed down last Friday in Nelson court

Most Read