ST. JOHN’S, N.L. – The discovery of two war-time shells set off jitters at a Newfoundland museum, amid concerns they may still be live.
Staff at The Rooms museum in St. John’s found the shells as they inventoried stored artifacts in the Second World War collection, director Anne Chafe said Thursday.
“They opened a box and they found these two air bombs,” said Chafe, who estimated the shells as about 18 inches long by three or four inches around.
“The pins were still in the bombs so they were potentially active … We have been working on our inventory for quite some time so we were all surprised this had not been discovered before.”
As per museum policy, staff called the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary, located next door to The Rooms, and a member of the explosive disposal unit was brought in to help remove the shells.
“The RNC officer that came over shook it himself and made us comfortable that there was no immediate concern,” she said.
The museum is only 12 years old, but Chafe said it houses many items brought over from the former Newfoundland Museum.
“When you have millions of artifacts and you have a large move like that you would be taking things that were already in a box and putting them back on a shelf.”
The Rooms has found grenades and similar items previously, she said.
RNC Const. Talia Murphy said the force is consulting with the military, but was unable to say more about the fate of the bombs.