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Monday, July 22, 2024

WWII vintage mortar shell unearthed in exclusive Antipolo City subdivision

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A WORLD War II vintage 81mm mortar shell was unearthed Tuesday in a posh subdivision in Antipolo City, but was defused shortly thereafter by a responding bomb squad from the provincial police office.

The dud was reportedly dug up by a backhoe operator who told the security guards of Victoria Valley Subdivision about his scary discovery.

The security guards hastily cordoned off the area as they waited for police response.

Lt. Daniel Cruz, headed of the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team that responded to the scene, said the mortar shell seemed to be intact with a high probability of detonating if mishandled.

He explained that traces of corrosion that had formed around the shell from being buried underground for several years suggested that its built-in safety features may have already been compromised.

“The mortar shell appears to have been produced in the United States… but we won’t know for sure until it is examined more closely. What is readily apparent is that it looks to be in pretty good shape despite some corrosion. I am willing to bet that it would have gone off if the backhoe hit it in the wrong way,” Cruz said in Filipino.

In January, an unexploded grenade was found in the same construction site, and over the years, various vintage ordnances have been dug up in different parts of the village, local residents revealed.

What appeared to be the entrance of a partially collapsed military bunker was also unearthed in the same area earlier this year.

Cruz strongly advised residents and construction workers against attempting to handle unexploded ordnances should they come upon them, urging them to call the police instead.

Victoria Valley was the site of a fierce battle between retreating Japanese stragglers and Filipino guerrillas backed by American troops during the final days of WWII, according to Antipolo historians.

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