KIEV, Ukraine – A World War II mine was discovered Thursday in the Black Sea port of Sevastopol as a U.S. Navy destroyer arrived to conduct drills with Ukraine, and efforts were under way to dispose of it, officials said.
The mine, weighing up to 1,100 pounds and containing up to 110 pounds of TNT, was found drifting in the water Wednesday near a navy hospital on the shore, said Valery Strelets, spokesman for the local branch of Ukraine's Emergencies Ministry.
The report came as the USS Forrest Sherman called at the port to conduct drills with the Ukrainian navy. The U.S. destroyer was about 500 yards from the mine when it was discovered, Strelets said.
He said experts had stopped the mine from floating, and it will be moved about a mile from shore, where it would be destroyed. Nearby streets have been cordoned off, and all shipping will be ordered halted when the mine is destroyed, Strelets said.
Lt. Brian Badura, spokesman for the Commander of U.S. Naval Forces Europe, 6th Fleet, said the ship was not in danger. "There is no danger to the ship or its crew. The ship is a good distance away from the mine," Badura told The Associated Press.
Ukraine was the site of heavy fighting during World War II and many unexploded shells, grenades and mines are discovered each year.