Live shell found in Lazo home detonated safely

This live First World War-era shell was found by a Lazo resident clearing out a house. It was safely detonated at CFB Comox. - Photo submitted
This live First World War-era shell was found by a Lazo resident clearing out a house. It was safely detonated at CFB Comox.
— image credit: Photo submitted

A shell, almost 100 years old, was safely destroyed at CFB Comox after it was discovered and reported by a Lazo resident clearing out a house.

The resident immediately called CFB Comox Military Police when she spotted what she believed to be military ordinance.

Upon arrival Nov. 23, members of 19 Explosives Disposal Flight (19 EDF) identified a 37-mm high-explosive round from the first world War period. The shell was still live at the time of discovery.

“Military ordinance can be extremely dangerous, particularly if it is old,” Lieut. Jorge Parra-Martinez, 19 EDF commander, said in a news release. “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 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, contact local law enforcement or the 19 Wing operations centre at 1-866-488-0889.

— 19 Wing Comox

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