A cleanup necessitated by a basement sewage leak led to a surprising discovery of 50 pounds of dynamite last Wednesday morning at a home in Evergreen Park.
The finding led police to evacuate nearby homes, reroute traffic, lockdown a floor-block area and call for nearby schools to keep students inside.
The Cook County Bomb Squad was called and removed the dynamite after a bomb-sniffing dog confirmed the existence of explosives, police said.
The 24 sticks of dynamite had been stored for more than 60 years in a suitcase in a house in the 9700 block of Hamlin Avenue, according to police.
The 93-year-old owner of the home agreed to store the explosives for a friend who worked in construction and was moving out of state. He knew the dynamite was still in his home, but did not know how to dispose of it, according to reports.
But when last week’s sewage leak forced a basement cleanup, he asked his caregiver to dispose of the suitcase. The caregiver called Evergreen Park police after the man told her the suitcase contained dynamite, police said.
The bomb squad later destroyed the dynamite at the Thornton Quarry, Donovan said. There were no injuries and no charges filed, police said.
The homeowner spent the day at his niece’s home near Midway Airport until returning in the late afternoon, police said.