Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Watch Live

Public Safety

Dropped Off Mortar At San Diego CHP Prompts Evacuation

A couple dropped off an 81 mm mortar at a California Highway Patrol office in the Morena-area today, prompting a bomb squad rollout and evacuation.

The couple who arrived at the CHP station on Pacific Highway about 8:15 a.m., telling officers they found the mortar while cleaning out a vacant home in Clairemont, according to the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.

Taking no chances, authorities cleared the building and closed a section of the highway, while waiting for a bomb squad to determine if it was explosive, fire department spokesman Maurice Luque said.


Luque said the mortar contained explosives but lacked a complete fuse system, rendering it essentially harmless. The bomb squad impounded the device and gave an all-clear about 9:45 a.m., Luque said.

Anyone who finds old ordnance that they believe could be explosive should call 911.

"Don't touch it; don't drive it to a fire station or a police station,'' Luque said. "Leave it where it is, call 911, and let us handle it.''

The origin of the mortar was unclear.

KPBS has created a public safety coverage policy to guide decisions on what stories we prioritize, as well as whose narratives we need to include to tell complete stories that best serve our audiences. This policy was shaped through months of training with the Poynter Institute and feedback from the community. You can read the full policy here.