TNT safely detonated after a landscaping scare

Posted at 7:25 PM, Feb 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-12 22:48:18-05

An update to a story 23 ABC first brought you last night.

Northwest Bakersfield residents were on edge after a hearing AND feeling an explosion in their neighborhood.

The Kern County Sheriff's Department released a statement saying that the explosives were detonated around 8:15 p.m. on Azalea Spring Court.

Earlier today 23 ABC spoke with many residents in the area, including the home owner who actually handled the device.

All neighbors said that they heard the explosion while others said that they could actually feel their houses shake.

23 ABC was first made aware of this incident by viewers who felt the boom.

Today we learned that the incident actually started hours before that.

Around 4:15 p.m. yesterday, Bakersfield resident Debby Clark went outside to check the progress of the work being done in her backyard.

Clark, who didn't want to go on camera, said she was looking in the shallow trench that had been dug near the wall when she noticed a strange object sticking out.

Elias Fuentes, who had been working on the trench, says he was shocked by what he saw.

"When I came back, the news was that there was a TNT explosive, i think it's called, in this area," said Fuentes.

Fuentes also said that they had been digging trenches all day in the backyard and he couldn't believe how lucky he was.

"And I walk on the top. But you know I'm very lucky. I told thank you god nothing happened you know. The gentlemen, owner to the house called and said the sheriff's department is coming to take it out," said Fuentes.

Clark said she immediately called the sheriff's office to report the dark green device that was clearly labeled TNT explosive.

Sheriff's the instructed Clark to tell her neighbors to get out of their homes.

For the next several hours sheriff's quickly and carefully handled the device, taking it up a ladder and giving it to the bomb squad robot.

The robot then rolled into the field behind Clark's house -- where it was safely detonated.

The Clark family has no clue where the dynamite came from -- but the sheriff's office has cleared their property.