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Willoughby Hills boy discovers 'still very much active' artillery shell in Chagrin River, carries it back home

Thankfully, the Lake County Bomb Unit was able to dispose of the weapon safely.
Credit: Willoughby Hills Police Department

WILLOUGHBY HILLS, Ohio — The people of Willoughby Hills can rest easy following an incredible and quite bizarre discovery on Thursday.

According to police, a 12-year-old boy was playing in the Chagrin River when he found an old military-grade artillery shell sitting on the rocks near Eagle Bridge Road. It is unknown how the shell got there, but the child was so impressed with the device that he decided to carry all 20 pounds of it back to his house on Trailard Drive.

Once home, the boy showed the bomb to his mother, who "thankfully" decided to contact the local authorities. Officials on scene determined that, despite its advanced age, the weapon was "still very much active" and decided to call in the Lake County Bomb Unit.

Bomb techs on scene set up a perimeter, but ended up placing the shell into an explosive containment unit and taking it away for "safe disposal." Luckily, no one was injured.

The police department is now reminding all residents to follow these instructions if they ever come across a device such as an old bombshell or mortar:

  • Do not touch it
  • Leave the item where it is—even if it looks old and rusty, it may still contain explosives and is therefore potentially dangerous
  • Contact your local law enforcement and/or fire department for further assistance

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