Railroad Torpedoes Purchased from Flea Market

Garfield, New Jersey Collecting railroad memorabilia is a popular pastime for many and is typically a safe hobby, but not recently when a New Jersey man inadvertently purchased a box of explosives from a flea market.

According to police, the man bought a flare box in Burlington County, in South Jersey. The next day, when he realized "railroad torpedoes" were in the box, he called police. Police responded and evacuated 14 homes in the area.

Railroad torpedoes, otherwise known as railway detonators or track torpedoes, are small, wrapped explosives that were once put on tracks to warn train engineers to stop or slow down if there was an accident, fog, or another hazard ahead. The flares became largely unnecessary with widespread use of two-way radios.

Though small, they are designed to make a loud noise and are thus highly explosive. The Bergen County Sheriff's Office Bomb Squad took control of the items without incident.

Construction Supervisor Carries UXO into Police Station

Zhongliao, Taiwan Changhua County Police were forced to evacuate their station after a man walked in with an unexploded bomb unearthed on a nearby worksite. According to reports, workers clearing a site for a landscape improvement project in Hemei Township dug up the military UXO, and since the worksite was just 20-meters away from the Zhongliao Police Station, the site supervisor decided to pick it up and bring it to the station.


Artillery Fuzes Brought Home by Metal Detectorist Safely Disposed

Rivington, United Kingdom A controlled explosion has been carried out after two 80-year-old artillery shells were found in Rivington. A man reportedly came across the items while out with his metal detector and transported them to his home in Leigh.

After realizing the items could be dangerous, he notified emergency services, and a bomb squad and police firefighters from Leigh responded to transport the ordnance, identified as WWII artillery fuzes, to Pennington Flash country park for controlled detonation.


Live Grenade Removed from Arkansas Yard Sale

Clarksville, Arkansas According to the Clarksville Police Department, a "possible live hand grenade" was removed by the Fort Smith Bomb Squad from a yard sale. A portion of East Main Street, near the grounds of the multi-city yard sale, was closed while the Fort Smith Bomb Squad retrieved the device for proper disposal.

In addition to Clarksville police and Fort Smith's bomb squad, personnel from the Clarksville Fire Department and the Johnson County Sheriff's Office responded to secure the scene.

Lifeguard Responds Quickly as Beachgoer Hands Over a UXO

Sussex, England A popular beach in Sussex was the site of a controlled explosion after a beachgoer found a potential UXO on West Wittering beach and carried it to the Lifeguard Tower. The lifeguard on duty requested the individual put down the item, and a cordon was established.

The Selsey Coastguard Rescue Team responded to photograph the munition and send pictures to EOD who arrived to carry out the controlled explosion.


Grenade Found in Goodwill Donation Bin

Falmouth, Maine The Goodwill store was evacuated after employees found a hand grenade in the donation bin. According to Goodwill employees, the company has a protocol for this type of donation in which they immediately evacuated the store and notify the police.

Officers from the Falmouth Police Department responded and called in the bomb squad, who determined the grenade was inert. The bomb squad took the grenade for disposal.

Following the incident, Goodwill issued a reminder that they do not accept grenades, live or not, as donations. The reminder read in part, "we have old antique items in our homes, in our barns that we might want to donate, but just give it an extra glance before you do, because it can be really scary for our employees."

Well-meaning Donor Brings Live Grenade to Military Museum

Vallejo, California A bomb squad was called to the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum in California after someone brought in a live grenade as a donation. Museum staff set the object outside away from visitors, alerted authorities, and evacuated the building. Police responded to cordon off the area and notify Travis Air Force Base EOD. Technicians x-rayed the device and deemed it safe to transport back to base.

According to Trevor Allen, the museum's executive director, the grenade donation was an "innocent mistake" on behalf of a well-meaning donor. He credited operations manager Paul Goodrum for identifying the potential threat of the ordnance. No injuries were reported, and the museum was re-opened to the public.

UXO Brought into UK Primary School Leads to Early Dismissal

Shetland, United Kingdom An ordnance item brought into Scalloway Primary School was removed safely destroyed at the Scord quarry by an EOD team from Faslane. The school was evacuated after "historic ordnance" found at a local beach was brought into the school. Police and Coastguard teams responded to the scene and evacuated the building by sending children home.


Garden Ordnance Find Goes for a Ride

Glasglow, Scotland a gardener / handyman working on a residential property in Pollok came across a rusty projectile buried in the landscaping. Curiosity got the best of him and he asked the homeowners if he could keep the rusty relic. The homeowners did not object so the young man put the projectile in his backpack.

After finishing work for the day, the gardener rode home on his bike which was five minutes away. A few days later, the young man showed his find to nearby neighbors who became concerned advising him to report the find to the police.

Thankfully, the advice was followed and the find was reported sparking off an emergency response and evacuation of the area. An EOD unit was called in for technical support to remove the ordnance for proper disposal (specific type not reported).


Lobstermen Trap MK29 off the Coast of Maine

Cushing, Maine Two lobstermen got quite a shock when they discovered a military rocket stuck in their traps. Captain Cameron Pease and his stern man were aboard his boat, the Beverly E, when Pease found something tangled in his trawler's rope. That "something" turned out to be a 5-ft rocket, weighing about 150 pounds.

He did not immediately contact authorities, but instead kept it in his boat all day then loaded it onto his truck bed and brought it home. According to a Maine State Police social media post, Pease contacted a local warden the next day who then contacted the State Police Bomb Squad.


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