Living 160-year-old artillery shell found in Punta Gorda antique store
Employees at an antique store in Punta Gorda made an explosive discovery on Wednesday. They called the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office to have a small explosives order checked that had been in their possession for two years.
The Charlotte County Sheriff called in the Collier County Sheriff’s clearance team to determine exactly what the explosive was and if it still had the capacity to detonate.
The bomb squad determined that the shell was a Hotchkiss artillery shell dating from the 1860s.
To determine if the shell was still alive, it was passed through an x-ray machine, but the demining team said they were unable to determine if it was safe. . After learning that the shell still had its fuse intact, MPs took it to a safe place in Charlotte County, attached a small charge to the shell and detonated it.
The bomb squad said if the Civil War explosive had died it would have left a small hole in the metal, but instead the bullet exploded and sent small pieces of metal flying. Proof that the shell still worked after 160 years.