Police Continue to Investigate Savannah Explosion - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

07/22/04

Police Continue to Investigate Savannah Explosion

A wrecker hauls the damaged trash container from the scene. A wrecker hauls the damaged trash container from the scene.

Things are finally getting back to normal in a Savannah neighborhood after a large explosion. It happened at the intersection of 63rd and Montgomery Streets, forcing residents from their homes and shutting down a stretch of Montgomery Street for nine hours. It all happened when a city garbage truck picked up a trash container that exploded.

There was a surprising turn of events as police were trying to find out exactly what happened. They think they may now have a clue as to who may be responsible. Police found a large cache of weapons in the home of father and son Broderick and Brandon Dass, who live about a block away from where the explosion happened.

They had been arrested yesterday on weapons charges after acting suspiciously this weekend at Fort Stewart. Now police would like to know whether they're connected to this morning's explosion.

Police shut down Montgomery Street from 61st through 65th, telling residents they needed to get out.

Mary Mathis was one that took refuge in the Red Cross shelter set up at Pulaski Elementary. "I was in bed, and the explosion actually woke me up," she told us. "It sounded like a bomb went off."

The explosion occurred when a city garbage truck was picking up a large trash container when it suddenly exploded. The driver was not injured though the truck was heavily damaged.

"It was a loud explosion," said resident Lamont Bryan. "I mean really loud. Like I thought a truck must have hit another truck or something."

Bryan explained what they found near it. "So I'm picking up small pieces of metal. Next thing we pick up, six-inch shells. Fifty cal or either 20 millimeter, military rounds. Nothing that you could put in a rifle. Had to be a helicopter or a jet."

Police expanded the evacuation area, but it wasn't till they found the weapons in the Dasses' home that they realized this case may be bigger than they thought.

"We expected to find at least one or two automatic weapons," said police spokesman Bucky Burnsed. "But to find what we found is somewhat surprising."

The Dasses are already facing federal weapons charges. They could be facing more charges pending the outcome of this investigation.

Reported by: Liz Flynn, lflynn@wtoc.com

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