An “operational explosive device” was defused by RCMP in Kelowna
An RCMP car and mobile emergency response truck Monday night in Kelowna.
In British Columbia, an “operational explosive device” was defused shortly after 7 p.m. Monday evening by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) near the portion of Highway 97 through the city of Kelowna, which was closed for several hours Monday afternoon. The highway was reopened in the evening, DriveBC announced.
Officer Mike Della-Paolera referred to the object as an improvised explosive device, but did not provide further details. An RCMP investigation is underway to identify the person(s) behind this explosive device.
Earlier Monday, the RCMP Detachment in Kelowna, Okanagan, explained that a suspicious device, resembling an explosive device, had necessitated a traffic disruption.
DriveBC explained in the day that traffic was closed in both directions between Cooper Road and Spall Road, except for emergency vehicles, and that traffic was heavily disrupted. Motorists were then looking for alternative routes to get around.
Highway 97 was closed for several hours.
The impacted area, which extends for about half a mile, is a major artery where many restaurants, shops and shopping centers are located. It is also the main road to Kelowna International Airport as well as the municipalities of West Kelowna and Penticton.
Constable Mike Della-Paolera explains that the RCMP were alerted, early Monday afternoon, to the presence of something on the ground that seemed disturbing.
For us, it looks like an explosive device, but we are not yet sure, he added in the afternoon, specifying that a team specializing in explosives from the RCMP in the Vancouver area had seen the photos of the object in question and was concerned.
An explosives disposal unit from Vancouver went to Kelowna, said the RCMP, who had asked Monday after noon to the public to avoid the area. We have to [stop traffic] for public safety. Unfortunately, these situations can arise and we cannot take any risks, Constable Mike Della-Paolera said at the time.
To manage this situation, the Kelowna RCMP has made calling for more resources, including firefighters and city officials, to try to ease traffic.
With information from Brady Strachan and Jon Azpiri< /p>