Military ordnance neutralized in California town

Authorities neutralized apparent explosive in Solvang, Calif., and allowed hundreds of residents to return home.
By Frances Burns  |  April 17, 2014 at 10:15 AM
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SOLVANG, Calif., April 17 (UPI) -- Hundreds of homes and businesses were evacuated in a California town after what was described as possible "military ordnance" was discovered.

The device was neutralized within hours and the evacuation order was lifted in Solvang early Thursday. More than 1,000 homes and businesses had been affected by the mandatory evacuation order.

Officials said 500 to 700 evacuation calls were made Wednesday afternoon and the mandatory evacuation order was extended around 8 p.m. The search and rescue team from the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office went door to door to make sure that everyone within 1,500 feet of the device had left.

Solvang in Santa Barbara County is a city of about 5,000 founded by Danish immigrants a century ago. The city is known for its Danish-style architecture and lures tourists with replicas of the Round Tower in Copenhagen and the city's famous statue of Hans Christian Anderson's "Little Mermaid."

Vandenberg Air Force Base is about 15 miles to the northwest. The base's explosive ordnance disposal team worked with the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office to remove the device and has joined the investigation of the incident.

[Santa Barbara County]

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