NORTH SYDNEY, Canada — Cops are hunting for the prankster who set off a marine flare inside a Canadian Walmart, sending clouds orange smoke billowing throughout the store and ruining millions of dollars worth of merchandise.
Store officials say the flare sent people and staff fleeing from the store and left an orange-colored residue over thousands of items and that they are unsalvageable.
“The substance itself is sticky and it’s not water soluble, so you can’t wash it off,” Alex Roberton, the senior director of corporate affairs for Walmart Canada, told the CBC.
The Cape Breton Regional Police say the flare was triggered on Nov. 6. A few days later, a similar flare was set off at a local school in North Sydney in Nova Scotia. But the damage to the school was far less and the Walmart has been closed ever since as store officials work to clean up the mess.
Officials say the smoke and its residue are non-toxic but there are irritants in the sticky remains.
Walmart says it typically tries to donate any goods that have been damaged but are still usable to charity but in this case deemed the items too far gone.
Police are looking at surveillance footage to determine who was responsible.It is believed the flare were stolen from a nearby business where a large amount of flares are stored.