Summer playtime ended abruptly - but not with a bang - for two young brothers and their pals when they found a hand grenade.
Seven-year-old Euan Campbell and older sibling Ben (9) made their potentially dangerous discovery in Grangemouth just after 6.30 p.m. on Monday, among some bushes near their Carron Place home - little realising the entire street would soon be cordoned off for two hours until Explosive Ordnance Disposal made sure the device was safe.
Euan said: “It was rusty, but I noticed the writing on it - something like ‘Smoke Hand Grenade Training’. It looked used so we decided to take it home and show mum and dad.”
They handed the grenade, slightly bigger than a soft drinks can, to parents Anne Marie and Marshall, who immediately called the police for some advice.
“Then it seemed like half the town got locked off,” said Marshall. “We put the grenade in our back garden and police said we had to have a 100-metre exclusion zone while we waited for the army to come from Edinburgh.
“They told us it was a spent smoke grenade, but if it had been live it still carried a dangerous explosive charge, so we did the right thing. We thought we were a bit dramatic phoning the police, but we didn’t know for sure it was safe - we’re not experts.”
The experts praised the family’s swift action in alerting them to the presence of the device, but told Bowhouse Primary School pupils Euan and Ben they should have left the item where they found it and then called police.
The real worry for the Campbell family is how the grenade got their in the first place and if there are any more lying around. At least the boys now know the proper, safe, procedures to follow.