Bomb squad detonates old artillery shell found in Waikato paddock

An old artillery shell found in a Waikato paddock has been detonated.
The incident saw a Defence Force bomb disposal team travel from Auckland to a Waikato farm after the old artillery shell was found in a paddock.

The owner of the farm Neil, who declined to give his last name, said hed found live artillery shells a few times before.

The area used to be a swamp, and in the 1920s and 30s people lobbed shells in here for target practice, he said.

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When he first moved to the farm 34 years ago, he was a bit blase about the artillery shells and just shifted them out of the way.

Now we know they can go off and if they did go off it could be a bit disastrous.

New Zealand Defence Forces bomb disposal squad at work. (File photo)

He said they were very careful with them now, marking where they were and calling in the bomb squad to do the rest.

The actual detonation was a bit of an anti-climax, he said.

Theres a little bit of a bang, but not much. The sounds no more than a shotgun going off.

The bomb squad are as safety conscious as youd expect, he said, spending a couple of hours assessing the situation and putting sandbags around the shell before its detonated.

If it went off un-sandbagged and whatnot you could have shrapnel going everywhere.

A police spokesperson said the explosive was discovered around 11am in a farm paddock in Taupiris Uapoto Rd.

Someone has found an old artillery shell in a paddock, its quite common. [Defence Force] explosive teams are heading there from Auckland ... There is no risk to any members of the public.

Shortly before 5pm a police spokesperson said the situation had been resolved.


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