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Wartime Grenade Turns Up in an Unexpected Place

The device was found among potatoes in Hong Kong
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 2, 2019 1:00 PM CST
Stock image of, yes, potatoes.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – A WWI grenade ended up Saturday in about the last place you'd expect: a potato-chip factory in Hong Kong. Police say the unexploded German device was discovered in a pile of potatoes from France and was promptly defused, the South China Morning Post reports. Seems the grenade had been dropped or failed to go off in an area known to have trenches—and even today, some hundred years later, the two-pound device could pose a danger to anyone standing nearby.

"If you're standing close, within five feet, you could get wounded or even killed [if it went off], but it's not the kind of thing that can bring down a whole building," says a professor at the University of Hong Kong. "But chances are, the weapon was never armed because to ignite it, you have to withdraw the safety pin and release a lever. And since it didn't go off, it was probably never triggered." Police detonated the device on-site at the Calbee brand snack company, notes CNN, and posted a video on Twitter of the explosion. (A movie about World War I is getting rave reviews.)

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