A Prairie Village neighborhood was blocked off this afternoon after a family cleaning items out of the basement found what appeared to be a vintage munition, possibly a relic from World War II or earlier. The Overland Park Police Bomb Squad was called in and is on the scene.
Prairie Village police closed Hodges Drive between 63rd Street and 63rd Terrace in the southwest corner of the city at approximately 1 p.m. today. The house where the potential explosive was found is on the northwest corner of Hodges and 63rd Street.
Police on the scene said that because the device is military in nature, Fort Riley was called and has dispatched a unit to take control of it. The street will remain closed until they arrive, which could this evening.
Neighbors said one of the homeowners had recently passed away. Other family members were going through boxes in the basement, the neighbors were told, and it was what appeared to be a grenade discovered in the basement that caused the concern. Police said it could possibly be a Japanese type rifle grenade.
As a precaution, the device was treated as a live munition. It was brought to the front of the house awaiting the Fort Riley investigators. Neighbors in surrounding houses were advised to stay clear of that area facing the street until the situation is resolved.
Update: 5:50p.m. A Fort Riley explosive unit and the Overland Park bomb squad cleared the neighborhood at 5:45 p.m. The street is now re-opened to traffic. About 5:15 p.m., military personnel helped move the device from the area of the front porch of the house to a containment unit that was backed up into the driveway of the home, pulled behind a pickup truck. Police had enlarged the secure area back across 63rd Street before the device was moved. Neighbors in houses facing Hodges were told to move to the back of the houses during the removal.