After a device packed with 100 pounds of explosives was discovered on the beach in North Carolina, on Thursday, authorities scrambled to cordon off a half-mile wide area in preparation for intentionally detonating the bomb on Friday. That had to be put on hold due to a local fire, but residents are expecting a window shaking explosion any time now.
Device identified as WWII bomb
On Thursday, park rangers at the Cape Hatteras National Seashore got a disturbing call which led them to immediately evacuate the area. Authorities announced that they established “a safety perimeter measuring approximately a half mile” around the mysterious object that washed up on the beach. The device turned out to be a “100-pound aerial bomb from the World War II era.”
Hatteras Island dweller Michele Quidley was just walking her dog. As they approached the historic Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, by the parking lot for the Buxton Beach Day Use Area, her dog discovered the encrusted device “high on the shoreline.” It looked like a “torpedo” Qudley describes, “when we reached it, I thought it was a log but then I realized it was made out of metal.” And it had fins.
“I was worried about just leaving it there, because there are a lot of visitors on the beach, and I didn’t want kids to play with it, or someone to accidentally pick it up and take it home as a souvenir.” She decided to call the National Park Service. They appreciated the heads up and advised her to call the cops too. She dialed up the Dare County Sheriff’s Office dispatch center and John Conner of the Buxton Volunteer Fire Department was soon on the scene to examine the device.
It happens all the time
David Hallac, the Superintendent for National Parks of Eastern North Carolina explains that “The discovery” of a stray military device or two “is not uncommon along the Outer Banks.” That’s why “Cape Hatteras National Seashore visitors should always be on the lookout for beach hazards, especially during and after periods of rough surf.”
The U.S. Navy quickly dispatched their Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit, based in Norfolk, Virginia. The plan was to detonate the device “in place on Friday morning.” Superintendent Hallac relates that “big waves such as those created by Hurricane Epsilon, which is east of Bermuda, often lead to unexploded ordnance and practice bombs occasionally washing onshore.”
The EOD got all the prep work done Thursday after verifying that the suspicious device was in fact “live military ordnance.” It’s been placed “deep inside the beach near the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Beach Access parking area.” At the last minute, the timetable changed due to a local fire. “a large fire in Buxton has delayed that plan,” local news reports. When it finally does go off, “no damage to nearby structures is expected. However, Buxton residents and visitors may hear the detonation.”