Authorities in Oregon said they successfully detonated a live “World War II-style mortar shell” uncovered on a woman’s property.
The military weapon was found Thursday in the shed at a woman’s home in Gold Hill, the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release. The release said it had been there for more than 30 years, as long as she'd lived there. But the history of the shell was otherwise murdy.
She reportedly removed it from the spot and put in on the ground in her yard before calling for help.
Sheriff’s deputies blocked off the scene and notified nearby residents while they awaited help from a military Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team from the Oregon State Police Explosives Unit, the statement said.
When team members arrived, they took the mortar shell to a safe spot for detonation and found that it was live, according to the department. No one was reportedly injured during the event.
The sheriff’s department said military items do turn up occasionally, though “usually the item turns out to be an inert shell kept as a souvenir.” But this one was different, and the homeowner “was unaware of the potential danger,” the department said.
Authorities warned that if any kind of “suspicious device” is found, people should leave the item where it is and call authorities.