Bomb Squad Blows Up Explosive
By Dan Breitwieser, WCJB TV 20 News.
A Columbia County man was cleaning out a storage shed full of old clothes and pictures on his grandfather's property Monday morning when he made a potentially explosive discovery. But he didn't handle the object with kid gloves.
After it fell on the ground initially, the most amazing part is the man took it to the Ellisville Fire Department in Columbia County, driving with one hand, and holding it with the other. But the bomb squad, brought in from Alachua County, was a lot more cautious.
It took about 90 minutes to direct a robot to pick up the mortar round, put in a hole several hundred yards behind the fire department, along with a remote detonator to blow it up. Technicians described it as a mortar round that may have been homemade because it appeared to be 50 years old, with a body, fin and fuse that came from three different guns.
"I'd recommend leaving it there because you never know what's going to happen," says Dep. Marvin Williams, bomb technician with the Alachua County Sheriff's Office. "It could be unexploded ordnance, a real military ordnance, and maybe it feel a long time ago, got covered up over time."
Which means it might only need a jiggle or two to detonate.
Some small shards were all that were left of the round. With the power of the detonator, bomb techs say there's no way of knowing if today's device actually would have posed a threat.
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