Three unexploded shells found in Shuri High School grounds

September 10, 2011 Ryukyu Shimpo

At around 11:30am on September 9, workers carrying out a magnetic survey in the grounds of Shuri High School in Mawashi Town of Shuri, Naha City, as part of the process of constructing a new school building found three unexploded shells around 1.5 meters below the surface of the ground. They reported this to the Naha Police Station.

The Ground Self-Defense Force bomb disposal team that answered the request from the fire station quickly recovered two of the shells, but gave up retrieving the third piece of ordnance, a U.S. 50 kilogram bomb.

Disposal of the remaining bomb will be carried out on the site in the days ahead.

On August 24 this year, another U.S. 50 kilogram bomb was also found on this location, about 30 meters away from the latest discovery. That bomb has been kept in a carefully protected situation with the fuse still in place. The latest bomb has a diameter of about 20 centimeters and has an overall length of about 80 centimeters. It also has its fuse still in place. The disposal team has sandbagged the bomb and covered it with liner plates.

The disposal team succeeded in quickly recovering a U.S. 75mm shell, with a diameter of about 7 centimeters and an overall length of about 30 centimeters, and a 105mm shell, which has a diameter of about 10 centimeters and an overall length of about 40 centimeters.

Students and local residents were not evacuated during the emergency bomb disposal work and other subsequent procedures.

Assistant principal of Shuri High School, Tsutomu Maeda, said, “We carried out a magnetic survey here after the unexploded ordnance was found last time, and found the bombs that way. I don’t know if any more will be found in future.”

(English Translation by T&CT, Mark Ealey)

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