WEST OCEAN CITY – Construction workers performing a demolition project at a West Ocean City residential community last week made a surprising discovery when they found two explosive devices on a porch of a cottage on which they were working.
Around 11:30 a.m. last Wednesday, the Worcester County Fire Marshal’s Office was called to assist with the recovery and disposal of military munitions found at the Villa Nova Cottages on Old Bridge Rd. Workers had discovered two cone-shaped projectiles on the porch of a cottage being prepared for demolition. The two projectiles were about 17 inches high and around six inches wide at their widest point.
The Ocean City Bomb Squad responded to the scene and was able to determine the two explosives were military grade and the Dover Air Force Base Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) unit was asked to respond. The Dover Air Force Base EOD unit responded and identified the explosives as possible live chemical munitions.
The Dover Air Force Base EOD team then requested a response from the U.S. Army 22nd EOD technical escort team from Indian Head, Md. to further identify the explosives. After a lengthy inspection, the devices were determined to be safe by the Army EOD units. It is not known where the munitions came from, but they had likely been there for years, according to the county’s Fire Marshal’s Office.
It’s not unusual for unexploded military ordnances to show up in and around the resort area.
In August 2006, a military shell measuring 33 inches long and eight inches wide was discovered in the front yard of a residence on St. Louis Ave. The military shell, along with two smaller munitions, had been brought home and displayed as decorations at the residence after they were found by a clam boat dredging just off the coast in Ocean City. In that case, the U.S. Army EOD unit out of Andrews Air Force Base responded and rendered the live shells safe with the help of the Ocean City Fire and Public Works Departments.
In July 2009, a large section of the beach in Ocean City at 40th Street was evacuated when a private citizen uncovered what appeared to be a pipe bomb in the sand. The citizen reported the discovery to the Ocean City Beach Patrol, which the contacted the OCPD. The area was evacuated for about an hour while Ocean City Bomb Squad technicians, using robotic equipment, removed the suspicious device from the beach.