STERLING, Illinois — An alert that was broadcast to people watching TV on Friday night, January 11, was launched as the Quad City Bomb Squad collected a live hand grenade that was found in Sterling.
The grenade was found on a property in the 4300 block of West Lincolnway in Sterling, Illinois, according to Rock Island County Sheriff Gerry Bustos. That’s just north of the railroad, near Sterling Rail Services, LLC.
Sheriff Bustos said it was an “old hand grenade” that was found along with some blasting caps. He said it’s not uncommon for people to find military ordnances like these.
The Quad City Bomb Squad responded to the property around 4 p.m. to collect the findings, said Sheriff Bustos. Responders then transferred the grenade and blasting caps into a containment vessel and took them to the bomb squad range in Coal Valley to be destroyed.
Due to the age of the materials, Sheriff Bustos said they were concerned they may go off before being taken to the bomb squad range.
That’s why the alert was launched by Rock Island County dispatch. Multiple News 8 viewers said the alert was a “law enforcement warning” that crawled across the screen around 8:45 p.m.
Sheriff Bustos said the alert was meant to go to residents in that Sterling neighborhood, to explain why they may hear a blast.
The alert however, went to more viewers than anticipated.
Sheriff Bustos said they were auditing the alert system, checking to see if it was user-error or a system glitch.
Whiteside County Sheriff John Booker said the department was continuing to look into the discovery.
The materials were destroyed successfully.