Paraparaumu Police say local children found a live artillery shell and took it to their grandparents’ house, planning to clean it and take it to their nschool for a show and tell.
But the Police and Army thought differently — and today they successfully exploded the high-explosive 3.7in anti-aircraft shell in a safe place.
Constable Rob Eastham has the full story:
‘At around 9:45am this morning Police were contacted by a family who had found an old projectile from a World War Two artillery round at their Paraparaumu property.
‘It’s understood the item was found by the family in Belmont Regional Park during the school holidays.
‘The kids took it home to their grandparents’ house, and, after googling the item they thought it was safe to keep and clean it up to take to school for show and tell.’
Back home with the artillery shell in the car
But last night the children returned to their own home in Awatea Avenue in Paraparaumu with the artillery round in the car, Constable Eastham says.
Another grandparent became concerned about whether it was safe to keep, moved it into the backyard and rang Police this morning.
Police rushed to the property, put in place a safe cordon , and evacuated three nearby houses as a precaution.
The New Zealand Defence Force Bomb Disposal Unit attended, inspected the projectile and confirmed it was potentially still live and should be detonated in a controlled explosion.
The unit carefully transferred the projectile to a safe location at Higgins Quarry in Paraparaumu.
Detonated by remote control
The item was buried under qbout a metre of gravel in a safe part of the quarry and detonated by remote control from 300 metres away.
Police remind anyone who finds an item such as this to contact them right away, and not to touch it.
They say: “People’s safety is our priority so we need people to be careful in situations such as this.
“If ever in doubt, call 111.”