Dynamite buried years ago not found
by Rachel Davis
May 31, 2013 | 3562 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
SIPSEY — District 4 Commissioner Steven Aderholt knew he would encounter some surprises when he was sworn in the position, but he wasn’t prepared when an employee recently informed him there was dynamite buried under the District 4 shop.

“I was made aware of it and wanted to take the necessary steps to ensure the safety of our employees and the public safety, I felt like it needed to be looked into so we could determine if it needed to be removed,” Aderholt said.

Aderholt asked the State of Alabama’s Department of Public Safety’s Bomb Squad Unit to investigate the crate the employees said was buried in the yard of the shop more than 25 years ago.

On Thursday, members of that unit visited the site and informed Aderholt that the dynamite, which was composed of sawdust and nitroglycerin, was probably packaged in a wooden crate. This means the dynamite has likely decomposed after almost three decades underground and there would not be any recoverable material.

The information received by Aderholt from one of the crew members who originally buried the explosives, was the dynamite was in a wooden crate and was buried 15 feet below the surface. Over the years, red rock, gravel and other materials have also been placed on top of the site.

State officials said they believed the time the materials have been there, the depth they were buried at and the composition of the dynamite and its packaging led them to believe there was no reason to attempt to remove the dynamite, even if there was still a trace of where it had once been.

District 4 Supervisor Phillip Gilreath said the state official who visited Thursday told him that the dynamite was likely 40 to 50 years old. He also said that burial was a common disposal method for explosives during the 1970s and early 1980s.