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

Smoking pot? Your dentist wants to know

Vancouver dentist and cannabis researcher shares oral health concerns of marijuana

Wait times for ICBC road tests increase in Victoria

Increase has no connection with tests becoming more challenging: ICBC

Hundreds of thousands of British Columbians to take part in earthquake drill

The B.C.-wide, one-and-a-half-minute drill will be held Thursday

Campers near Saanich municipal hall await response from transportation ministry

MOTI expected to decide Monday when campers need to leave

Campers near Saanich municipal hall await response from transportation ministry

MOTI expected to decide Monday when campers need to leave

Advance voting begins Oct. 10 in Greater Victoria

The polls open at 8 a.m. for the 2018 municipal election with the general election taking place Oct. 20

Find your future at Black Press career fair in Victoria

More than 70 booths expected at Bay Street Armoury on Oct. 25

Mega Millions prize of $654M is nation’s 4th-largest

No one has won the U.S. jackpot in almost three months

Trump: Saudi king ‘firmly denies’ any role in Khashoggi mystery

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is travelling to the Middle East to learn more about the fate of the Saudi national

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen dies at 65

Allen died in Seattle from complications of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Transport Canada to take new look at rules, research on school bus seatbelts

Canada doesn’t currently require seatbelts on school buses

Sockeye run in Shuswap expected to be close to 2014 numbers

Salute to the Sockeye on Adams River continues until Sunday, Oct. 21 at 4 p.m.

Michelle Mungall’s baby first in B.C. legislature chamber

B.C. energy minister praises support of staff, fellow MLAs

Most Read