WWII Military Scraps, Fragments Wash Out onto Assateague Shore - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

WWII Military Scraps, Fragments Wash Out onto Assateague Shore

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(Photo: WBOC) (Photo: WBOC)

ASSATEAGUE ISLAND, Md.- Sand shot up into the air and a loud explosion sent birds scattering Tuesday, as a bomb squad detonated unexploded military shells that washed out at the Assateague Island National Seashore.

Park rangers closed off the northern section of the beach Tuesday morning, so experts could quickly get rid of the scraps of military shells that surfaced.

"As soon as we get the word, we go out and deal with it immediately," said Park Ranger Ted Murlock.  He said erosion uncovered the World War II artifacts. "We had a few pieces exposed and once we dug, we found a lot more."

Murlock said about 100 pieces were discovered, and that's a first.

"It was the largest load to wash out," said Murlock. He said the "unexploded ordnance was spotted by a beachgoer Monday.

"They're metal, they're heavy so the beach erodes and they get exposed," said Murlock.

As the bomb squad took care of the hazardous metal, visitors like Tabatha Preast, of Berlin, were stuck in traffic. 

"I waited three hours," said Preast. Beachgoers had no choice but to wait.

Rangers had to close the roads again for a second blast. Once that was cleaned up, visitors were given the all-clear. 

"I think it's kind of interesting. I love history and this is a part of our national history," said Preast.

During a WBOC newscast, the bomb squad let go a third blast.

Park rangers said discoveries like this are common on the island. Rockets and shell fragments are buried in 2 feet of sand, according to park rangers. So when they wash out, safety experts step in.

"The safest thing to do is to get rid of it by blowing it up," said Murlock.

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