Man finds bomb while bulldozing in Copper Center

Casey Grove

A man doing dirt work on his property in Copper Center uncovered an old military bomb Friday morning, according to Alaska State Troopers.

The man was using a bulldozer at a home near Mile 101 Richardson Highway when he found the explosive about 9:30 a.m. Friday, troopers said in a written statement. The man called emergency dispatchers, who notified an Army ordnance disposal team at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, troopers said.

As the team headed to the area, troopers kept people out of the 30-pound bomb's estimated maximum blast radius.

"The good thing is there are only two houses in the vicinity, and one that was actually in the blast zone," troopers spokeswoman Beth Ipsen said. "So that family just went somewhere else for a few hours."

The Army team moved the bomb to a safe place and destroyed it about 6 p.m., troopers said. They did not determine exactly what kind of bomb it had been but guessed that it was the type used in the 1960s as a training bomb for aircraft to practice dropping, the troopers statement says.

"They think it was maybe a tracer bomb. Pilots would drop them in an area and it would discharge smoke, so they knew how close they were getting to the target," Ipsen said. "So they believed it was already detonated but they didn't know for sure."

"They destroyed it," she said. "They blew it up with other explosives."



Reach Casey Grove at or 257-4589.