A shell, almost 100 years-old, was safely destroyed by members of 19 Explosives Disposal Flight (19 EDF) November 23, after it was discovered and reported by a local resident clearing out a house in Lazo, British Columbia.
The resident immediately called CFB Comox Military Police when she spotted what she believed to be military ordnance. Upon arrival at the residence, members of 19 EDF identified a 37mm High Explosive round from circa World War I. The shell was still live at the time of discovery.
“Military ordnance can be extremely dangerous, particularly if it is old,” said Lieutenant Jorge Parra-Martinez, 19 EDF Commander. “It’s very important that if people see something that looks like ammunition, be it sitting on a shelf, or in a basement that is being cleared out, they contact local police or the military to ensure its safe disposal.”
To encourage reporting, an amnesty program protects those who find and report ammunition. No names or addresses are reported publicly. Ammunition safety is paramount and even if residents are unsure about items resembling ammunition or explosives, they are encouraged to call in order to let experts confirm the identity of the object and determine if it poses a danger.
Members of 19 EDF are specially trained to identify and dispose of a wide range of ammunition and explosives. Regionally, members of 19 EDF are the first responders to deal with any military explosives and are regularly called upon to dispose of hazards such as unearthed or souvenir munitions and Marine Locator Markers washing up on the beach. To report findings, please contact local law enforcement or the 19 Wing Operations centre at 1-866-488-0889.