ST. PETE BEACH, FL (WFLA) – St. Pete Beach homes and beach-goers were evacuated due to a suspicious item at Sunset Way and 24th Avenue. The item turned out to be a photoflash bomb.
According to Ali Rose from MacDill Air Force Base who is at the scene, the object is a photoflash bomb – a pyrotechnic item identified as a bomb due to its explosive nature and because it resembles a bomb in appearance.
Rose provided a link to a MIT webpage with this schematic drawing of a photoflash bomb:
According to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, a person taking a walk at the beach found a large cylindrical object along the surf line near the 22nd Avenue beach access. The person reported it to the authorities. PCSO deputies said that the object was about four feet long and it had a cone-shaped cap on one side. It had barnacles on it and must have been submerged in the water for a while.
PCSO deputies evacuated the beach and set up a 300-yard perimeter. They contacted Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office Bomb Squad. HCSO crews determined that the object may be of military ordinance and called MacDill Air Force Base crews.
Officials evacuated several homes on the Beach Side of Sunset Way from 22nd to 28th Avenue in ‘abundance of caution.’
The crews detonated the bomb at about 5 p.m. Sunday. There is no word yet on how it ended up in the water.