Authorities closed off Agat Marina and the roads in the area on Tuesday morning following the discovery of an explosive device that sent village residents into panic.
A cellphone is attached to the unexploded ordnance, indicating the device was not a remnant from World War II.
Initial responders from the Guam Police Department and Guam Fire Department arrived at the scene, according to police spokesman Sgt. Paul Tapao.
“Based on the nature and the assessment of the package, they went ahead and simulated a uniformed command system,” Tapao said. “We are not going to comment on the device itself or the package itself because of the fact that this is an ongoing investigation.’
The device was found at around 8 a.m. by a GFD employee.
“Because it was actually situated along the Marina side close to where they house their boats. They immediately called 911,” Tapao said.
He said authorities did not receive any report of threats prior to the discovery of the suspicious package. But shortly after the discovery, the photo of a possibly live ordnance quickly circulated on social media, raising a question as to the original source of the image.
“Because of the span of the scene, we ensured that all cellphones and all electronic devices including our radios would be situated along the command post site,” Tapao said. “So anybody that got within the proximity was probably before or within the assembly of command post. So, we don’t have an exact origin of the image that was circulating on social media.”
While confirming that the picture indeed showed live ordinance, GFD spokesman Kevin Reilly said investigators would not speculate as to what type of device it might be.
“This is an ongoing investigation. We are working closely the Guam Police Department and all the other agencies involved. We are working closely with the FBI to determine the nature and, of course, the substance was retrieved here at the Agat Marina. Anything further we cannot comment,” Reilly said.
The discovery of the suspicious device also prompted the U.S. Coast Guard to assist in ensuring that all mariners, local fishermen and the community are safe through the establishment of a safety zone in the surrounding waters. Exercising extreme caution in assessing the device authorities deployed a robot
“With the operations from the EOD side, they deployed the robotics unit and were able to disassemble the device and retrieve a sample, which was provided for x-ray,” Tapao said. “They went ahead with the FBI and the ATF made an additional assessment.
By 12:15 p.m., the area was declared safe.
“Because they deemed it safe, we were able to confiscate it and it’s going to be analyzed further by our partners with the ATF and the FBI,” Tapao said.
The Guam Fire Department, Guam Police Department, Mariana Regional Fusion Center, U.S. Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit, U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service, Port Police, Federal Bureau of Investigation and other local and federal partners were all on scene.