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Last Updated: Tuesday, 17 February, 2004, 07:53 GMT
Grenade closes US-Canada border
By Ian Gunn
BBC, Vancouver, Canada

Vancouver, Canada
The woman apparently got her Vancouvers mixed up
One of the main border crossings between Canada and the US was closed when border guards found a hand grenade in a vehicle heading into Canada.

The Peace Arch border crossing between Seattle and Vancouver was shut to all traffic in a major alert.

But bemused officials now say the incident was caused by a woman who got lost and happened to have a grenade.

In an age of terror alerts, even a wrong turn it seems can now cause an international incident.

Officials say this incident was caused by a common enough mistake in these parts.

There are two Vancouvers - one is a small American town, the other is the large Canadian city.

On Monday, a woman from Texas trying to find the small town ended up at the Canadian border.

When officials there searched her vehicle, they found a hand grenade in the glove compartment.

Just lost

Within minutes, the border was evacuated and the bomb squad was on the scene.

Once the woman explained her story though, things quickly calmed down.

A Canadian police spokesman says they are satisfied that the woman was simply lost and had never meant to go to Canada.

They soon released her and reopened the border.

As for the hand grenade, police say, the woman had no idea it was in her vehicle.

It probably belongs to her husband, who reportedly works for the US military.

Serious security alerts are rare along this border, but they do happen.

In 1999, a man was caught smuggling a car full of explosives at a crossing near here as part of a plot to bomb the Los Angeles airport.



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