Wednesday, October 31, 2012

70 Year Old Kaboom...

Wow. Brad_in_MA sends in this story of unintended ordnance...

Japanese airport reopens after squads secure area around unexploded WWII bomb
TOKYO — A major airport in northern Japan reopened Wednesday after bomb squads barricaded the area around an unexploded bomb from World War II.
Flights resumed at Sendai Airport after military troops worked through the night to pile sandbags around the 250-kilogram (550-pound) bomb, which was uncovered during construction near a runway two days earlier.
Apparently this is rather common in Japan, given the sheer volume of ordnance dropped on the island nation during the tail end of WWII. It doesn't sound like these bombs pose much of a problem, with weathering and deterioration rendering most of them inert. Given that it was "uncovered in construction", it leads one to wonder if some poor schlub running a backhoe was digging away and heard a "CLONK", only to discover a ZOMG QUARTER-TON BOMB...

Now, I don't know about the rest of y'all, but one time, when I worked in the produce section of a supermarket, I found a black widow spider in a box of bananas. Another clerk and I were setting up the display for the following week, and were setting out a good-sized arrangement of fresh bananas when we saw something moving. A pineapple container later, and we had one really angry black widow spider trapped under plastic. For a few seconds, though, the hindbrain went into overdrive with "ZOMG THAT CAN KILL YOU!!!!!11111"

Now, I'd imagine the poor guy who found that bomb was like that, only about 1,000 times more so...

That is all.

10 comments:

Brad_in_MA said...

Jay,

In reporting this story I forgot to mention a story from last year.... workers in Germany dredging a river uncovered an unexploded British 9,000 pound Grand Slam bomb. German officials evac'd several square kilometers before the bomb squad defused the monster. Note that the brits also used 22,000 bunker smashing bombs too.

Dave H said...

Even with weathering and deterioration, I still don't want to find out the hard way that I found the one bomb in 10,000 that's still boomable.

And don't remind me of what comes crawling out of banana boxes. I never saw a black widow spider, but there were enough other creepies to turn me off completely. After I got married my wife suggested we get some of those nice big boxes when we were moving to a bigger apartment. I used up my one lifetime veto on that suggestion.

Old NFO said...

Depends on the compound... it could be inert, or VERY touchy... BIP is the usual response (blow in place) if they can!

Anonymous said...

Black Widows are an almost weekly occurence in my area. I've had them pop out of vents, be inside the cable tv box, crawl down the bannister on the stairway, and too many others to count. Won't kill an adult, but it will make you wish you'd died, between the nausea/vomiting/abdominal pain.

My younger son, from age 2 on, was a "bug squasher"; see a bug, squash it. All well and good, but he thought the best way was to palm smack them. In the fall, all kinds of bugs want into the warm house, spiders included. We walked up to the front door one cool evening, herding the boys in front of us, and before my wife or I could even react to the sight of the fat, 1.5 inch diameter black spider in the middle of the door, he had spotted it, yelled "BUG", drawn his 2 year old hand back, and smacked that black thing! Yep, squashed Black Widow.

Big mess (she was obviously about to lay eggs), long discussion with 2 year old regarding appropriate smashing, (completely unheeded of course) and one very upset mom!

Bill

Anonymous said...

Uncle Sam promised there were no UXB on a site I was working on.

The largest we found was a 1940's 2000 lb.

Gerry

Anonymous said...

Stationed on Guam in the late 70s at that time a local farmer was plowing his field and the tractor hit a metal object. Air Force had bomb squad out and it turned out to be a shell from one of the big Battelship guns. New underware required.

x

wolfwalker said...

Something about that story doesn't fit -- it says it was an unexploded American bomb, but American ordnance was still using pounds in WW2, so it should have been a 500-lb bomb. 550 lb is what you get when you convert the weight of the standard Japanese medium-weight 250-kg bomb to pounds.

Ken O said...

But did the worker who found it have on
clean underwear?

Stretch said...

Lost an idiot to a Civil War shell a few years back. Fool thought he could cut it up into sell-able parts. Didn't realize "old" doesn't mean "inert."

Firehand said...

Speaking of 'found in the bananas', did you ever see this?
http://voices.yahoo.com/brazilian-wandering-spider-found-bananas-supermarket-2901819.html