Father’s Discovery of Son’s Military Training Devices Leads to Bomb Scare in Franconia Township

A concerned father caused a scare at the Franconia Township Police Department in Montgomery County Wednesday when he brought in what police believed to be military explosives. NBC10's Lauren Mayk has the details behind the confusion and how authorities handled the situation.

(Published Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017)

A concerned father’s discovery of his son’s military training materials inside his bedroom led to a bomb scare and evacuations in Franconia Township, Montgomery County Wednesday afternoon.

The ordeal began shortly after noon when a man brought several packages to the Franconia Township Police Department on 671 Allentown Road. The man told police he had found the packages while cleaning his son’s room. His son is an explosives technician who is serving in the military overseas.

The packages contained five clay bricks and an aluminum container with wires protruding from the opening. Police say the items appeared to be materials used to make explosive devices for demolition.

The packages were immediately placed on the lawn in front of the police building and the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department Bomb Unit responded to the scene. Police officers, firefighters, an ambulance crew and fire police units from nearby townships also assisted.

“When they got here they said the items looked as though they were live so as a precaution we had everyone evacuate from the park and from our township building and police department building,” Franconia Township Police Chief Joe Kozeniewski said.

Employees and visitors at both the police department and municipal offices building were evacuated while residents in homes on the opposite of Allentown Road were told to shelter-in-place.

The Sheriff’s Deputy’s technicians initially believed the items were live explosives. They soon discovered however that the materials were marked as “inert” indicating they were most likely used for training purposes. The items were removed and no detonation was required.

Investigators say the man who delivered the materials later spoke to his son overseas who confirmed the items were training materials. No one was injured during the incident, which lasted for about two hours.

Chief Kozeniewski told NBC10 that while he recommends residents contact police if they find potentially explosive devices, it’s dangerous to handle them.

“If they discover it call 911,” Chief Kozeniewski said. “We’ll come to their house to get it. The danger of transporting it from their house to our station could take out the car or worse.”