If you look at the location on a map, you’ll see that the intersection of Cement City Road at Dearmyer Road is VERY close to Michigan International Speedway. 75,000 people were gathered there to watch a NASCAR race last Sunday afternoon.
4″ canister mortars are for fireworks. They are not the military type. That in of itself is nice to know but rather insufficient in this case.
The truck and two men were in close proximity to the NASCAR race at MIS and fireworks are strictly forbidden at the track; even the smallest types. The reasons for the prohibition is rather obvious; it’s a public safety hazard.
A pair of Adrian men have been airlifted to the University of Michigan Hospital following an explosion in the truck they were driving Sunday afternoon in Columbia Township.
According to Columbia Township Police Chief David Elwell, the men, 22 and 23 years of age, were riding in a 1995 Chevrolet pickup on Cement City Road at Dearmyer Road at about 4 p.m. when the cab of the truck exploded.
The driver of the truck, 22, told police that another vehicle passed by and threw something into it.
“The inside of the truck was pretty damaged,” Elwell said. “It’s a wonder they weren’t killed on impact.”
However, after the explosion, Elwell said two witnesses told police they saw the men run to a nearby corn field, throw items into it and return to the scene before police arrived.
Columbia Township police and fire, with the help of K-9 units, later recovered three round mortars — one 4 inches in length and two that were 3 inches — and a canister mortar in the field.
“Following the K-9 search, Columbia Township police and fire personnel set up a grid search pattern, and within a half hour located a total of four additional unexploded mortars,” according to a release from the Columbia Township Police Department. “An explosion-proof container was obtained from Brooklyn Department of Public Works, and all the explosives that were located were then secured and removed from the scene.”
Police also discovered remains of a “mortar-like device, similar to what is used for fireworks shows” inside the vehicle. . . .
The incident remains under investigation.