[b)Divers Recover Explosive Devices From Harbor Floor[/b]
LOS ANGELES -- Divers recovered seven detonators that were in about 15 feet of murky water in Huntington Harbour.
Authorities now want to find the person who dumped the devices, which are believed to have been stolen.
The search was called off at 3:30 p.m. after 15 divers spent the better part of the day probing both channels in the upscale water-oriented neighborhood where houses line the banks, said Jim Amormino of the Orange County Sheriff's Department.
Officials said a diver hired by the Huntington Harbour Association discovered two blasting caps yesterday in about 10 feet of water near Bonaire Circle.
"We're confident we located all of them," Amormino said. "Now the question at this stage is how they got there. They were intentionally placed there."
The devices were placed into a reinforced box that would contain any explosion.
"I'm sure they'll be detonated," Amormino said. "These are highly explosive and somewhat unstable in salt water. They could definitely injure anyone near, any diver near there, any person in water, any boat near that explosion."
Amormino ruled out terrorism.
"I do not believe there is any terrorism activity," Amormino said. "I think that more than likely they could have been stolen property that was dumped. I don't believe they're part, or will be part, of any terrorist investigation."
Authorities were interviewing residents for any information.
The devices were in the water no more than one to three days, judging from a lack of corrosion on them, he said.
Environmental divers working for Merkel Associates of San Diego found them just after 2:30 p.m. yesterday, but it became too dark to launch a search for them, Amormino said.
Divers from law enforcement agencies included 10 from the Orange County Sheriff's Department, four from the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department and one from the FBI.
Investigators said cellular phone signals could set them off, but they were not considered dangerous enough to blow up yachts or homes.
"They are commercial-grade blasting caps used to cause explosions like for mines and things like that," Amormino said. "They are concussion-type explosive devices, as opposed to fragmentation type.
The detonators are usually attached to a bigger explosive device, he said.
A sheriff's bomb technician retrieved the detonators to help ensure they did not go off, and no one was injured, Amormino said.