An unusual situation Monday afternoon closed down the intersection of US Hwy. 41 and Ky. 138 in Slaughters for a couple of hours by Kentucky State Police.

A possible live grenade was found in the area, then transported to a local business where police were called. Upon arriving at the scene, authorities closed the intersection and evacuated an area within a 1,000 foot radius, according to reports.

The closure also included the rail way running into the affected area, as well as New Hope Road.

An unnamed man had been operating a metal detector in a field off Ky. 630 when he discovered the device, according to Tine’s Hometown Market owner Jacob Joiner.

“The guy found it on 630, then drove to my parking lot with it in his car,” Joiner said. “Then he decided to call the law, then it turned into crazy.”

When KSP arrived on the scene, they set up a perimeter and evacuated the immediate area while they waited for explosives experts to arrive, the report states.

Hazardous Devices Investigator Steven Smith with the KSP arrived and rendered the grenade safe by exploding it in a detonator near the market, according to Joiner.

“I didn’t get to see it,” he said. “They discharged it in the field next to me.”

Joiner believes the grenade was live, but there has been no official verification as to the status of the device.

KSP warned that anyone finding a suspected explosive should not touch it, but call law enforcement immediately upon leaving the scene.

KSP Post 2 public affairs officer Rob Austin said he does no have definitive answers as to why the grenade would have been in the field in the first place. 

He did say that he had heard, but could not verify, that there were military activities in the area during the World War II era.

Because of the presence of Camp Breckenridge in Union County and Fort Campbell in Christian County, it is possible training maneuvers were conducted in Webster County during that time.

Austin stressed that it was extremely dangerous to do what was done Monday. He said it was inadvisable for anyone to go back to that area and conduct metal detecting for similar devices. Because of the instability of older devices, the next person might not be as fortunate to escape unharmed.

Austin said he had spoken to Trooper Corey King on Post 6 in Henderson, who said that portions of explosives were found with regularity in the area surrounding Camp Breckenridge. However, those finding the materials leave the area and contact law enforcement, who then are able to take care of the threat without any further incident.

Webster County Sheriff’s Department, Hanson Fire Department, Clay Police Department, and the Hopkins County Sheriff’s Department all assisted on scene.


Reach Morgan McKinley

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