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Ordnance rendered safe; Calif. evacuations lifted
April 17, 2014 10:59 GMT

SOLVANG, Calif. (AP) -- Evacuees from hundreds of homes and businesses in the Central California town of Solvang were returning early Thursday after experts removed a military ordnance found in the town's business district and rendered it safe.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's office said the evacuation call was issued Wednesday afternoon for between 500 and 700 residences and work sites after the potentially explosive ordnance was found near some homes. Spokeswoman Kelly Hoover said the Sheriff's Department bomb squad and a bomb disposal team from Vandenberg Air Force Base cleared the ordnance early Thursday morning, shortly after midnight.

Officials released a photo of the ordnance. It appeared to be some sort of artillery shell.

The tiny town 100 miles northwest of Los Angeles is a tourist stop known for its Danish-themed shops and buildings.

Information from: Santa Maria Times,