A World War II era military ordnance was detonated on Sunday on St. Pete Beach, Florida, after being discovered early in the morning.
Ever since World War II, the military ordnance has been lying in the Pass-a-Grille surf, becoming the undisturbed home to barnacles. No wonder it looked little like military equipment.
Yet, a beachgoer taking a closer look at the log-like military ordnance thought there could be something more there and called authorities at approximately 8:40 on Sunday morning, according to the Pinellas County sheriff department.
The 4 feet long cylinder was inspected by the sheriff’s department, as well as the Hillsborough County sheriff’s department and later on detonated by the MacDill Air Force Base, specialized in explosive ordnance disposal.
The military ordnance was identified to be an M122 used in night photographic missions during World War II. According to the 1957 explosive guide of the U.S. Navy, exposure to the flare would have been detrimental for sight.
Nonetheless, the MacDill Air Force base decided to detonate the military ordnance in situ, using a batch of C4 explosive. Efforts were made to evacuate the area and…protect the turtle nests.
Sand berms were built all around the three nests that were identified in the area, and police tape delimited the surface deemed necessary for the detonation to take place without any unpleasant occurrences. 900 feet of beach were cleared to each site of the detonating site, as well as homes.
This didn’t stop the curious beachgoers from lining up behind the tape and enjoying the show. 250 beachgoers were evacuated, as well as 25 homes in the vicinity of the detonation site.
During World War II, the military ordnance measuring 103 pounds in weight and a 45 million candle power would have aided photographic missions conducted during the night.
Now, the relic was detonated to protect the beachgoers from the potential danger of explosion.
Photo Credits tampabay.com