Compressed-air canister sparks possible unexploded ordnance alert at Yokota
By LEON COOK | STARS AND STRIPES Published: May 16, 2018
YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — Air Force officials sounded the all-clear about three hours after suspected unexploded ordnance was found Wednesday at the home of U.S. Forces Japan in western Tokyo.
The object – identified later as a footlong compressed-air canister – was uncovered at about noon near the 374th Mission Support Group’s administration building, an Air Force statement said.
“Real World Yokota Air Base, Japan. This is the Command Post. Shelter in place has been declared for [buildings] 316, 305, 315, 400, 580, 313 until further notice due to a possible UXO discovery,” said a text alert sent by base officials.
Security forces cordoned off the area, and nearby personnel were advised to take cover behind interior walls, according to a separate text alert.
Explosive ordnance disposal experts assessed the situation before the all-clear was sounded just after 3 p.m. An Air Force statement said the canister didn’t contain explosives and “there was never a threat to any personnel on or near the site.”
The University of Maryland University College Asia, which holds classes in one of the affected buildings, canceled classes for the day in response to the alert.
Since Yokota is on the site of older military bases, unknown or suspicious objects are occasionally found, the Air Force said. They are treated as dangerous until experts can verify they don’t present a threat.