Mortar round found at Alaska museum was active
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) – The Latest on a mortar shell found at a southeast Alaska museum (all times local):
Explosive specialists have destroyed a World War II-era mortar round found at a Haines museum after determining the munition was live.
The Anchorage Daily News reports military specialists destroyed the device Thursday by detonating it.
The Sheldon Museum and Cultural Center closed this week while explosives specialists examined the mortar round.
Director Helen Alten said a staff member found the Japanese mortar round as he looked for artifacts to purge that were no longer relevant to the museum.
The museum considered using the mortar round in an upcoming World War II exhibit but could not determine from donation paperwork whether the round was inert.
The 80mm round had been in the museum’s possession for more than 20 years.
A museum in southeast Alaska has temporarily closed after staff members were unable to confirm if a World War II-era mortar shell had been disarmed.
The Anchorage Daily News reports a staff member found the Japanese mortar round last week while sorting through the collections vault at the Sheldon Museum and Cultural Center in Haines.
Museum director Helen Alten says they were considering using the shell in an upcoming exhibit featuring World War II battle art, but the item’s donation paperwork didn’t indicate if it was deactivated.
She says the shell is likely disabled, but because they couldn’t be sure, they notified police.
Explosives specialists were scheduled to visit the museum this week.
Alten says the shell has been in the museum’s possession for more than 20 years.
Information from: Anchorage Daily News, http://www.adn.com