South Africa 21.10.2014 09:16 pm

Two more military projectiles found near Pretoria school

Emergency personnel at the scene where a military ordnance cannon projectile allegedly exploded in Pretoria West. Pic: Rekord Moot.

Emergency personnel at the scene where a military ordnance cannon projectile allegedly exploded in Pretoria West. Pic: Rekord Moot.

Two more military projectiles and one mortar were found near Pretoria West High School on Tuesday morning, police said.

This follows Monday’s blast at a Pretoria West scrap metal dealership where one man died and another was injured after a projectile they were working on exploded.

Speaking to The Citizen, police spokesperson Colonel Caroline Naidoo said a security guard at the school had noticed two males carrying a heavy object which they later dropped and ran off when he approached them.

“The security guard then alerted the principal who called the police. Explosives experts were later called on to the scene to remove the military projectiles,” she said.

Naidoo added that one of the projectiles found had been a practice mortar.

The high school, which was on high alert during the morning, was later declared safe and learning continued.

In Monday’s incident, 15 other projectiles were found and later removed from the scene by police. A case of possession of explosives was opened against the injured man who had been released from hospital by Tuesday afternoon.

Further police investigations were underway, Naidoo said.

The blast prompted panicked parents to fetch their children from nearby Laerskool Simon Bekker, while the rest of the area was evacuated by emergency staff who declared it unsafe.

READ MORE: Man ‘blown to pieces’ in Pretoria explosion

“There will be no school for the rest of the day. This is a mess. We informed the parents about the situation and they have started fetching their children,” the primary school’s deputy principal Jimmy Roberts said on Monday.

Naidoo said police were trying to determine where the military projectiles came from and appealed to the community to contact police if they find any explosives.

She said people who were stealing military projectiles and similar explosives to sell them as scrap metal were “endangering lives”.

“I want to appeal to the community with regards to these explosives; do not handle these explosives, alert police if you ever come across them,” Naidoo said.

 

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