Buckhannon parks closed after grenade found

BUCKHANNON — The Buckhannon Police Department and West Virginia State Police investigated a suspicious package — which was later identified as a World War II-era grenade — that was discovered at Buckhannon City Park about 2:30 p.m. Thursday, according to a press release from the city of Buckhannon.

All parks in city limits were initially closed but a 3:30 p.m. update posted by the city said that only Buckhannon City Park, Fred Brooks Park and North Buckhannon Riverfront Park remained closed.

The release stated a suspicious device was found at Buckhannon City Park and was reported to the Buckhannon Police Department. Upon a visual inspection, the suspicious device appeared to be a possible explosive device.

The area around the device was secured and the WVSP bomb disposal unit was called in.

A city press release issued after 8 p.m. stated that all city parks would be open today.

The Buckhannon Police Department, State Police Bomb Unit and collaborating agencies investigated the suspicious device, the release stated.

“The State Police Bomb unit inspected the device and advised that it was a World War II era grenade, but did not feel that it was live,” Buckhannon Police Chief Matt Gregory said in the release. “As a precaution, they did recover the grenade and will be disposing of it per their protocols.

“We also met with an ATF (Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms) agent who did a follow-up investigation. As for the device itself, there is no indication of criminal intent at this time.

“Out of an abundance of caution, the FBI Police responded with a K-9 and they swept through the city parks and cleared each area. The parks have since been reopened,” Gregory said.

“In addition to the State Police, ATF and FBI Police, we were also assisted by the Buckhannon Fire Department, VIPS, Street Department, Comm Center, and Upshur Office of Emergency Management.”