News Release News Release The City of Palo Alto
Communications Department
250 Hamilton Ave
Palo Alto, CA 94301


Subject :

Bomb Squad Detonates Found Grenade in Stanford Research Park
Contact : James Reifschneider, Sergeant, Police Department    650-329-2413
Palo Alto, CA – A landscaping crew digging a hole outside an office building in the Stanford Research Park was surprised to unearth a grenade this afternoon. The Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office Bomb Squad responded, conducted a controlled detonation of the device, and determined it to be an inert fragmentation grenade.

On Monday, November 30, 2015 at about 1:28 p.m., our 24-hour dispatch center received a call reporting that a worker had just found a possible hand grenade in the dirt outside of 3145 Porter Drive, an office building occupied by Stanford University Procurement.  A landscaping worker had been digging a trench in the soil, and about four feet underground, found a strange object. The worker picked it up, and upon realizing it was a possible hand grenade, hastily tossed the grenade away.  It landed in an open area near Porter Drive.  Police were then summoned to the scene, and personnel from the Palo Alto Fire Department evacuated the building at 3145 Porter Drive as a precaution.  Employees at nearby 3155 Porter Drive were asked to remain indoors while emergency personnel secured the area and called the Bomb Squad for assistance.

The Bomb Squad examined the device, and determined that it was an old fragmentation grenade that was extremely decomposed.  Bomb Squad personnel conducted a single controlled detonation of the grenade to render it safe at about 5:30 p.m.  No one was injured.  Upon examining the remains of the device, they determined that it had been inert, and had not contained any explosive material.

The origins of the grenade are unknown, though it should be noted that Camp Fremont, a U.S. Army post from 1917 to 1920, was located in the same general vicinity.

Officers had the 3100 block of Porter Drive closed to all traffic for approximately four hours.  Police live-tweeted the event from the Department Twitter account (@PaloAltoPolice), sending photos and news from the scene in real-time as events unfolded.  Police also sent periodic updates via Nextdoor, Nixle, and Facebook.  For a link to all of our social media channels, visit