Firefighters' Wildfire Cleanup Halted by UXO

Vernon, British Columbia Firefighters from Vernon Fire Rescue Services and Wildfire Management Branch were forced to stop operations when they found an old WWII ordnance item while conducting the "mop up" phase after battling a wildfire.

The Royal County Mounted Police were called to the site and the Department of National Defense (DND) was also notified. A UXO recovery team responded, and the area was cordoned off while the item was properly disposed.

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Theodore Navy Magazine - Tales from the Early Era of Munition Disposal - Part II

The following is the second in a series of articles by Guest Author Robert "Dale" Woosley who served at Theodore Navy Magazine, Alabama in the early years following the end of WWII. The first part of Dale's story can be found at Theodore Navy Magazine - Tales from the Early Era of Munition Disposal (Part 1).

The work at Theodore included recovery of the brass shells of 3 and 5 inch caliber. The way this was done was to load one end of an ordinary railroad box car with the boxes containing the shells and load a hydraulic press in the middle. We were taken down in a swampy area away from anything and anybody - after the engine had left us. Usually our work crew consisted of 6 men. A couple of guys opened the boxes and took out the single shell in it. Then a couple of guys put the shell in the hydraulic jack and pulled out the projectile and placed it on the floor in the "empty" end of the box car. It would later be disposed at sea. Then two guys would pour the smokeless powder from the shell into a rubber-lined (no sparks) container half the size of a refrigerator, then place the shell in a vertical firing box to fire the primer. The brass shells were brought back to the base, ready to be sold for scrap.

The mosquitoes in the swamp were monsters. It was so hot and humid, we usually worked without shirts and the mosquitoes took advantage. In order to hurry up things and get out of there, we brought an old mattress, put it on the floor in the middle of the car, picked up shells by the nose and hit the base on the mattress, popping out the nose projectile. Stupid, of course, but efficient. Sometimes we ran across a shell which was called a VT or proximity shell, meaning it was meant to explode when it detected the presence of its target. We had to set those aside for an officer to de-activate them. We were scared of those.

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Ft. Belvoir EOD Remove Ordnance from Historic Building

Richmond, Virginia A construction crew uncovered a small cache of ordnance while rehabbing a historic building in Richmond. Workers contacted police after finding hand grenades and large-caliber ammunition.

The ordnance was estimated to be at least 30 years old. Because officials identified the items as military ordnance, an EOD team from Fort Belvoir was dispatched to respond. Area streets were shutdown during rush hour to allow for safe removal of the munitions.

Time to "Shed" That Old Ordnance

Gagetown, Canada A team from the 5th Canadian Division Support Base (5 CDSB) Gagetown was dispatched to Prince Edward Island on Monday to take care of an old military ordnance that had been stored in a shed in Goose River for years. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) received notice of the device and secured the area until the EOD team arrived.

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Live Projectile Found At Construction Site

Galesville, Wisconsin Construction workers discovered an old artillery round during excavations. The workers notified the police who evacuated the area while members of a bomb squad from the 934th Airlift Wing in Minneapolis X-rayed on the shell.

The round, identified as 75 mm US projectile (exact type not reported) was determined to be live. The severely deteriorated round was safely moved to a secure area for disposal through open detonation.

Mustard Agent Injures Fisherman and His Chowder

Dover, Delaware A fisherman was hospitalized with second-degree burns when a UXO became lodged in his crew's fishing net. The round, apparently filled with mustard agent, also led to the eventual destruction of some 700 cases of chowder which were on board at the time. The man was treated at a Philadelphia hospital for burns and blisters, injuries consistent with mustard agent exposure.

Reports indicate that the crew of the fishing vessel the William Lee found what appeared to be an old ordnance canister earlier this month. They threw it back into the ocean 30 miles east of Barnegat Inlet. Despite the fishererman's injuries, it was not reported to the Department of Environmental Protection until a week later. The boat was then impounded in Atlantic City, New Jersey for inspection, but no hazardous materials were found.

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UXO Found on Popular Welsh Beach

Pembrokeshire, United Kingdom The Llansteffan Coastguard responded to Saundersfoot beach to reports that a UXO had been found buried in the sand. The Royal Navy Bomb Disposal Unit then responded to detonate the item in place after clearing the area. The exact type of UXO was not reported.

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War Relic is an Unwelcomed Stowaway

Singapore A barge carrying sand for land replenishment found an unwelcomed passenger aboard a UXO measuring in over six-feet-long. The ordnance is believed to have been carried over from Vietnam, which supplied the sand. It was found on board the vessel KNB 1, a delivery barge that loads sand from another vessel before discharging it at the project site, port terminal in Tuas.

While the barge was discharging the sand, the war relic was discovered as it became caught between the hatch and a conveyor belt that carried the sand. The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and the Police Coast Guard were alerted to the incident and a safety zone was established around the site of the barge. The Singapore Armed Forces EOD team advised that the barge be moved from the site to Sudong Explosive Anchorage, which is a designated anchorage for the loading or discharging of dangerous goods.

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Controlled Explosion Planned for Windfarm Ordnance

Lancing Beach, United Kingdom Two unexploded WWII munitons (type not reported) will be detonated in a controlled explosion this week off the coast of Lancing Beach. The UXO was found during construction of the Rampion offshore wind farm. The items, found at a depth of 13 meters during an earlier conducted UXO survey.

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Beachgoers Report Supicious Munition Item

Salcombe, United Kingdom A Royal Navy bomb disposal team was called to the area of Rickham Sands after tourists spotted what they thought was a UXO partially buried in the sand.

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