Chemicals from U of A disposed of in 2 detonations by Edmonton police Saturday morning

Some Edmontonians may have woken up to a couple of loud bangs Saturday morning, as police helped dispose of chemicals from the University of Alberta.

Around midnight, the Edmonton Police Service posted on social media that it would be helping with “a planned and controlled” chemical transport and disposal from the U of A to Hawrelak Park Saturday morning. EPS warned residents living nearby they would likely hear a bang between 6:30 a.m. and 7:30 a.m.

“The disposal is a routine exercise,” EPS spokesperson Cheryl Voordenhout told CBC News via email.

Every now and then, the U of A requests that the force help with the safe disposal of hazardous materials, Voordenhout explained.

The late-night social media posts, which caused a stir of curiosity and concern, aimed to balance between informing early-morning park-goers without encouraging curious visitors, Voordenhout said.

“The goal is to keep citizens away from the park for their safety and to allow police to do their work,” she said.

To ensure public safety and reduce interruptions to Edmontonians’ daily lives, EPS bomb technicians safely detonated the substance in the parking lot at Hawrelak Park, away from any residential areas.

Two detonations occurred between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m.

Voordenhout was unsure what specifically was being disposed of, but said it was chemicals used in U of A research labs.

CBC News has contacted the University of Alberta for more information.

Hawrelak Park was closed during the transport and disposal, but has since reopened, Voordenhout said.

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