Live Cannonball Prompts Brief Closure of Fort Sumter

Charleston, South Carolina Fort Sumter, a popular tourist destination located on an island in the middle of Charleston Harbor, was recently closed after a visitor discovered an historic ordnance item, according to Brett Spaulding, Chief of Interpretation for Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie National Historical Park.

In a statement park officials said, "Out of an abundance of caution the fort was closed and the last tour boat of the day was cancelled." Explosive experts responded to exam and safely remove the UXO which was identified as an intact Civil War-era cannonball.

Acting Superintendent Bill Reilly said, "To ensure the safety of visitors and staff alike all safety protocols are immediately initiated when discoveries of ordnance are made. Historical artifacts are periodically found within National Parks and National Park Service staff are not trained to handle buried ordnance. In situations such as this, we work closely with our local partner agencies who have specialized training and equipment to safely identify and remove ordnance."

No damage to historic any structures at the fort or injuries were reported, and the park reopened the following day.

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