Explosive discovery leads to evacuation

An unexpected situation Sunday evening led to the evacuation of several homes in the Heidrick community just outside downtown Barbourville.

On Sunday evening, the Knox County Sheriff’s Office contacted Kentucky State Police after a resident found a coffee can containing possible explosives on his property.

The contents of the container were confirmed to be dynamite, and at about 9 p.m., homes were evacuated as a precaution. After the KSP Hazardous Devices Unit arrived and disposed of the explosive material, residents were allowed to return to their homes about 11:30 p.m. Sunday evening.

The discovery of the dynamite led to discussions that a loud boom heard a couple of weeks prior could have also been a dynamite detonation. Authorities have confirmed a likely link between those explosions and the dynamite found. Just a short distance away on McDonald Lane, while conducting a drug raid, deputies learned late-night explosions had been reported near the residence. At that time, no explosives had been located.

No arrests have been made in connection with Sunday’s discovery.

The investigation was a joint effort with the Knox County Sheriff’s Office and Kentucky State Police.

Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to call the Sheriff’s Office at 546-3181.