MCLB conducts two separate evacuations - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

MCLB conducts two separate evacuations

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Parts of the Maintenance Center at Albany's Marine Base were evacuated twice Tuesday.  Base officials say it was a good day at the maintenance center because no one was injured, but many of the workers spent a good portion of the day outside in the parking lot.

At 10:13AM, a gas leak was detected in building 2215 of the Maintenance Center, and all the workers were ordered to evacuate. The number is estimated at about 1,985 workers.

 "They cordoned off the area and moved everyone to a safe distance until they were actually able to shut the leak off," said Base Public Affairs Officer Lt. Kyle Thomas.

It's believed the leak was natural gas, but an investigation was underway to make sure if it was natural gas, methane, or propane.

"There is an investigation being conducted right now, to see how we can prevent it in the future," Thomas said.

The workers were allowed back into the Maintenance Center at 12:15. Then about 1:15 another evacuation was ordered, when an M-67 fragmentation grenade was found in a Humvee. This time just a portion of the Maintenance Center was evacuated.

 "Our ammo technician took that grenade and put it in a munition bunker where we keep munitions such as that, " Thomas said.

The M-67 grenade is a very common weapon for Marines in Afghanistan, and that could be where it came from. All three of the safety devices on the grenade were still intact when found.

Investigators from the Maintenance Center and the Base's Risk Management are both investigating the grenade, to see where it came from and how it got on the base. All the Maintenance Center workers returned to work about an hour after the second evacuation. No one was injured in either of the incidents.

You might remember last year a piece of C-4 explosive was found in another Marine vehicle coming back from overseas. Marine Base officials say this grenade is the second weapon they have found in vehicles since that C-4 was found.

Marine Base officials say no one was in any real immediate danger from either of today's incidents, but they will always evacuate the area if a threat is possible.

 

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