Canadian Survivalist's
Bunker Raided - Officials
Come Up Empty-Handed
By Rachel Furey- Canadian Press
TORONTO -- Firefighters, police officers and a trained dog descended Wednesday into a survival bunker of 42 buried school buses, in what its owner called a raid for ammunition and explosives.
Bruce Beach, a retired school teacher, has been constructing the underground bus labyrinth in Horning's Mills, near Orangeville, Ont., for the past 18 years. He says he keeps nothing dangerous in the bus bunker and the search group left empty handed.
"They came with equipment and special tools," Beach said.
"They brought specialists. It took over seven hours and eight people used cameras, measured and took notes during the inspection."
A frustrated Beech, 66, said the search interrupted his family's preparations for Y2K, a programming glitch that on Jan. 1 could affect computers that run everything from VCRs to airplanes.
Beach and 50 fellow survivalists are prepared to descend into the cramped underground maze if there is widespread chaos.
"Would you be upset if 40 people descended on your place when you're trying the get ready for Y2K? We're trying to get water and fuel and ensure the generator are running."
Fire officials could not be reached Wednesday, although a police spokesman confirmed that officers were called to assist in the search.
"We were there just as an aid to the fire department," said Staff-Sgt. Walter Kolodziechuk of the Ontario Provincial Police in Shelbourne.
Beach said no charges were laid but the search centred on a propane tank and containers of gas for a generator in the shelter.
"They said that would go into their report."
Beach said he has been at odds with community officials since he began plotting the underground survival system to protect him from a nuclear disaster.
Over the years he's made 30 court appearances to defend his 930-square-metre shelter, mostly quibbling with the fire department over the lack of a building code to regulate the construction of the mammoth maze.
"They told me 20 years ago I couldn't build it . . . They came with all sorts of rules and regulations, even (requiring) wheelchair access," Beach said.
"They say we don't meet building codes, but there are no building codes (for these types of shelters)."
Beach has offered the use of the shelter to people from as far away as Massachusetts, who plan to stay at a local hotel on New Year's Eve. They'll only venture into the underground bus system if their electricity or water is cut off.
"No one's going down there unless there 's a problem. It's a lifeboat. You don't want to get in a lifeboat unless you're hit by an iceberg," he said.


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