Kids Bring This to Playdate, Bomb Team Is Called In
WWII ordnance was still dangerous, cops say
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 17, 2015 3:03 AM CDT
Police released this photo of this mortar shell and warned the public to stay away from undetonated explosives.   (Portland Police Bureau)
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(Newser) – After a group of kids brought an old mortar shell to a playdate, cops in Portland, Ore., reminded the public that playing with undetonated explosives is a very bad idea. The children found the foot-long explosive in a wildlife refuge and carried it around a mile to a home where an adult called police, Reuters reports. Nearby homes were evacuated while police and military bomb technicians dealt with the "very old but still potentially dangerous" explosive, the police department said in a press release.

A bomb disposal tech with the 142nd Oregon Air National Guard Explosives Ordnance Disposal Team tells the Oregonian that the mortar dates from the World War II era and somebody probably dumped it in the refuge. "Over time, many of the mechanical safeties can wear down and deteriorate, making fusing systems very unpredictable and dangerous," he says. "Explosives themselves can also be unpredictable. Some become more hazardous with age while others decompose and lose their explosive properties." (Explosives from World War I are still killing people in Belgium.)