World War II bomb washes up on Florida beach
A World War II-era bomb was detonated Sunday after it washed up on the shores of St. Pete Beach in Florida.
A person walking along the beach first reported the "suspicious item," leading local officials to evacuate the area, including nearby homes. Authorities later detonated the device, after building trenches around it so that a nearby sea turtle nest wouldn't be disturbed during the explosion.
Despite being classified as an explosive, this type of bomb wasn't designed to hurt anyone.
Mulvaney's Ordnance Technical Information System reports the M122 photoflash bomb was designed to create a flash of light upon detonation, which then could be used for night surveillance. It was filled with photoflash powder — hence its name.
"We thought it was strange that a World War II bomb would be in the Gulf of Mexico in the first place. But then we found this congressional report that said that many unused weapons were actually dumped in the oceans and the Gulf in the years following World War II," a WFTS reporter said.
The detonation area was still closed off Monday morning so crews could finish cleaning up the area.