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Military rocket launcher found in Victoria prompts response from bomb disposal unit

The 66-millimetre rocket launcher was identified as an M72 high-explosive anti-tank weapon. (Submitted) The 66-millimetre rocket launcher was identified as an M72 high-explosive anti-tank weapon. (Submitted)
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Military bomb disposal technicians were dispatched to Victoria this week after the organizers of a residential estate sale uncovered a Canadian Army rocket launcher inside the home.

The surprising discovery was made during an estate liquidation sale in the Hillside neighbourhood on Wednesday.

The 66-millimetre rocket launcher was identified as an M72 high-explosive anti-tank weapon that contained no explosive warhead.

The launcher was surrendered to Victoria police, who in turn called the military.

A team of bomb disposal technicians from Fleet Diving Unit Pacific, based at Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt, responded to Victoria police headquarters around 2 p.m.

"The item in question was examined by the team, and was identified as an empty Canadian Army M72 HE 66mm rocket launcher, constituting no explosive hazard to the public," said Maritime Forces Pacific spokesperson Capt. Chelsea Dubeau.

"However, as the Canadian Armed Forces is responsible for disposing of all military ordnance, including any associated materials, the team removed the item from the scene to be disposed of at a later date," Dubeau added.

The rocket launcher was surrendered to Victoria police, who in turn called the military. (Submitted)

According to the Canadian Army, the M72 rocket launcher is a short-range, single-shot weapon that can defend against light-armoured vehicles and structures.

The 66-millimetre warhead can penetrate up to 35 centimetres of armour, and has been in service with the army since the late 1960s.

Anyone who discovers a piece of suspected military ordnance is urged not to touch it, and to call local police immediately.

  

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