Bomb squad followed safety measures

Saturday, October 7, 2017
The Southeast Missouri Regional Bomb Squad was in Kennett last week removing a device found by Kennett resident Tyler Samples after purchasing items from the Silver Fox Trading Post, located at 1001 First Street, which he was sorting through, deciding what to sell. Samples located a device which appeared to be an explosive device and decided to do the right thing and notify authorities. The photo shows the illuminator device which was taken to Fort Leonard Wood after the Southeast Missouri Regional Bomb Squad loaded it into a bomb containment cylinder.
Photos by John Mallot

By now many have heard about the explosive device or “bomb” as some news outlets have referred to it. But last week a local resident, Tyler Samples, made an important discovery and his actions were what every resident should follow in this type of situation.

After learning about Samples’ discovery and how he came across it, Kennett Fire Chief John Mallott, who has quite an extensive military background as well, commended Samples on the actions he took, making sure the device was secure, which in return protected a lot of people.

According to Mallott, Samples purchased all the property at the Silver Fox Flea Market, located at 1001 First St. in Kennett. “While going through and sorting things out, Samples came across something which he immediately recognized as a foreign object,” said Mallott. “He called his dad, Rick, who came down and took a look and it was then we received a call about a possible explosive device,” Mallott added.

Mallott said upon arrival, every precaution was taken from beginning to end. “After Tyler’s dad looked at it, he wasn’t a hundred percent certain there were no explosives still in tact,” Mallott said. “After I viewed it, I decided to take some pictures and send them to my contacts, who are a group formed with elite personnel from Sikeston, Jackson and Poplar Bluff, making up the Southeast Missouri Regional Bomb Squad.”

Mallott explained how military protocol is followed in circumstances such as this. “Since part of the device was missing on the tail end, it was hard to determine if there was anything too harmful,” Mallott said. “But as it turns out, the most harm the device could have caused would have been a fire due to the white phosphorous powder.”

Mallott described this device as being an illuminator. “It’s what our military would have used to shoot into the sky and illuminate a particular enemy territory,” Mallott said. “But as far as the danger aspect of this particular device, it contained the phosphorous powder and a parachute.”

Mallott explained how when situations like this arise, and they do, actually more often than what most people are aware of, always remember, safety is the key.

“Tyler and Rick did exactly what they should have done,” Mallott said. The bomb squad came and removed the device and transported it to Fort Leonard Wood in a bomb container, where it is now property of the military.”

Mallott said Samples actions could have saved the lives of many, had the device still had the explosive tail attached. “Luckily the explosive part had been removed and we didn’t face those dangers,” Mallott said. “Kennett is safe thanks to the appropriate actions being taken.”

Mallott expressed the importance of people not tampering with anything that looks to be military grade or to be a foreign object. “Many of these things are found in old barns or junk yards and flea markets. Just always be cautious and give us a call,” Mallott said. “As the old saying goes, it’s better to be safe than sorry.”

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