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Powerful Explosives Found at Historic East Village Cemetery

Monday, October 11, 2010

The NYPD bomb squad has removed a bag of the military-grade plastic explosive known as C-4 from an historic cemetery in the East Village. It was not capable of detonating, police say.

An NYPD spokesman said the material apparently was deposited at Marble Cemetery "some time" ago, but it was only discovered over the weekend by a volunteer who was gardening and then reported today. Police were called to the scene around 10:45 a.m., and the streets nearby were closed. They are are investigating where the bag came from.

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said it looks like the device has been there for awhile. He said it was packaged in a typical style used by the military for years. "It has yellow writing on sort of military green material," he said. "It's sort of plastic wrapping, so it's difficult to say with any precision how old the material is."

C-4 is more powerful than TNT. It requires a detonator, or cap, to explode and police said no caps were found at the scene.

There are two cemeteries side-by-side in the East Village, both called Marble Cemetary and both considered historic. It's not clear which cemetery the bag was placed in. One was designated a landmark in the late 1960s.

Six members of the Roosevelt family are buried there โ€” but neither of the two presidents โ€” and so is Stephen Allen, a New York City mayor in the 1820s.

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