There were some tense moments at the ALCO Iron & Metal recycling yard on Dolittle Drive Thursday afternoon when workers sorting through a 40,000 pound pile of scrap came across a green, World War II bomb resting atop a container labeled "diesel fuel."
"We were pretty sure it was just a relic somebody wanted to get rid of but we called police and asked them how they wanted to handle it," ALCO manager Michael Bercovich told Patch Friday.
San Leandro police spokesman Sgt. Ted Henderson said that when the department got the call at 4:15 p.m. Thursday, authorities took no chances.
They evacuated the surrounding areas, closed Doolittle Drive between Adams Avenue and Williams Street and notified the Oakland Airport of the potential danger to aircraft.
San Leandro police also called the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department bomb squad.
Alameda County Sheriff's deputy Sgt. J.D. Nelson is a member of the bomb squad and also the department's spokesman. He was one of five bomb experts who responsed to Thursday's alert.
"It looked like the bullet part of the bomb," Sgt. Nelson said. "It was green. It had no fins and was about four-feet long."
Pictures of the device were not immediately available. The story will be updated if images can be found.
Sgt. Nelson said the bomb squad pretty quickly determined that the device, a 760-pound aerial bomb, contained no explosive, nor did it have any arming or firing mechanism.
He paid no particular attention to the container marked diesel fuel, the assumption being that the inert relic and the empty fuel container ended up in the pile together by happenstance.
Bercovich said ALCO doesn't know who dropped off the bomb. He said it had arrived in one of three large truck loads of mixed scrap. The whole lot had been dumped into a pile and was being sorted when the discovery was made.
By 6:00 p.m. police had reopened Doolittle Drive and the surrounding streets.
But the precautions certainly seemed necessary at the time.
"We've all seen those World War II films and the craters those bombs leave," said Sgt. Nelson, the county bomb expert.
(It's been a week of scares for the East Bay with the and now this. If things happen in threes, what could be next? Tell us in the comments.)