The booms heard in Oak Ridge on Wednesday were from explosives training for law enforcement officers at the University of Tennessee Arboretum on South Illinois Avenue, an official said.
Twenty-nine officers from across the country are training in a 10-week National Forensics Academy course offered by the UT Law Enforcement Innovation Center in Oak Ridge. That course includes crime scene investigation, and one aspect of that training involves investigating car bombs, suicide bombers, and improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, said Don Green, executive director of the Law Enforcement Innovation Center. On Wednesday, an explosives ordinance team from the Knoxville Police Department used explosives to show officers what they would have to go through at that type of scene.
The explosives training session was on Wednesday only.
Green said there are three to four classes per year, and LEIC has been offering the courses since 2001. This is the first time they’ve had calls.
“Usually, that far away, you don’t hear anything,” Green said.
The sound of the explosions apparently traveled a bit farther this time, possibly because of low cloud cover or less foliage on trees, he said.
The NFA training was highlighted in 2005 during a visit to the UT Arboretum by author Patricia Cornwell, when a Cessna airplane was dropped 150 feet from a helicopter and then blown up. You can read that story here.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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