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Detroit Buildings Evacuated After Demolition Crew Finds World War I-Era Missile Tips

DETROIT (WWJ/AP) - Multiple buildings along Michigan Ave. in Detroit were evacuated after four World War I-era missile tips were discovered by a demolition crew.

The evacuation was ordered just before 12 p.m. Thursday, in the Corktown area, southwest of downtown Detroit.

Officials say the former Department of Public Works building on Michigan Avenue, near the I-75/I-96 interchange, was being cleared out to prepare for demolition when crews came across several objects that resemble possible explosive devices.

"They started to tear some things down and that's when they noticed the military ordnances that were being stored in that facility," Detroit Police Sgt. Michael Woody told WWJ's Sandra McNeill.

The bomb squad quickly responded to the scene as adjacent buildings, including three occupied city facilities, were evacuated as a precaution.

"It's more of like a compound, the buildings are very close together," said Woody. "And so it's just, if something were to happen, for the safety of the people inside, it was better to get them out and down the street as quickly as we could."

Sources told WWJ the devices are missile tips, and that was later confirmed by Detroit police Officer Jennifer Moreno who said the city's bomb squad had identified the munitions.

Moreno said the missile tips have been deemed safe and will be X-rayed "to determine if there is anything inside." She added that "if there is anything inside, it will be turned over to the" U.S. military.

Woody commended the work crew for calling 911 as soon as the devices were discovered.

"Often times we find some keepsake mementos around the city from different war periods, hand grenades and old rifles or ammunition, and for the most part these things become very unstable over time," he said. "And so when you do come across them, we always advise that you step back, call the police and let our bomb techs come out and handle it. We wouldn't want our citizens to risk their lives handling some of this older ammunition or older ordnance type materials."

An investigation is ongoing as police are trying to determine why the missile tips were at the location and how long they had been there.

TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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