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GSDF evacuates kids while shell disposed

Date Posted: 2010-11-04

A total of 379 Gushikami Elementary School students got an extended recess Friday as the Japanese Ground Self Defense Force detonated a white phosphorus mortar shell discovered only a few yards away from the schoolhouse.

The 107mm unexploded shell found in Yaese Town, the GSDF said, was made in the United States, and is believed to have been a remnant of the 1945 Battle of Okinawa. Explosive ordnance specialists said the unexploded shell was believed unlikely to blow up, so they chose to dispose of it by burning it in the schoolyard.

Yaese Town officials discovered the shell and quickly called the EOD experts. The GSDF specialists took less than 1 ˝ hours to dispose of the shell and collect the remnants. Children who congregated in the school gymnasium during the GSDF operation returned to class after the ‘all clear’ was sounded. There were no injuries.

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