STRANGE BUT TRUE: Explosive Discovery Made in Body Shop's Shed - BodyShop Business
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STRANGE BUT TRUE: Explosive Discovery Made in Body Shop’s Shed

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A Sonora, Calif., body shop owner was shell-shocked last week when an employee cleaning out an old shed discovered a 21-inch-long, WWI-era artillery shell. Isaac Leal, one of two owners of The Body Shop for You, told local newspaper The Recorder that the employee found the shell on a shelf that was on the verge of collapsing when he was almost done cleaning the cluttered shed.

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"It had rolled, and he caught it," Leal said. Luckily, the 30-lb. shell, which contained decaying explosives and is designed to detonate on impact, didn’t go off.

The local sheriff’s office and a regional bomb squad were called in to identify and get rid of the shell. Research showed that the shell, which was stamped with a 1917 manufacturing date, was packed with hundreds of shrapnel pellets.

"It would have leveled this whole place and a couple of complexes down," Leal said.

A robotic arm was used to gently place the shell in a steel- and concrete-lined containment vessel. The bomb was hauled to an old quarry, where it was buried upright in another container and covered with sandbags. Officials then detonated it.

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Leal told The Recorder he had “no idea” how the shell ended up in his shed – he bought the business a year ago and assumed the lease on the land where it is located.

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