Camp Shelby explosives experts destroy military shell found in Natchez

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 17, 2000

State bomb experts on Wednesday destroyed what turned out to be an inert military shell found at a residence.

A resident located the shell in a drawer while cleaning out his deceased mother’s residence on St. Charles Street, said Natchez Police Chief Willie Huff.

The resident said the shell had been in the house for years.

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He did not know how long the shell had been in the house but thought it could be as old as World War I or II.

It also appeared to have been spent or fired earlier and then put back together, Huff said.

Experts with the explosive ordinance department at Camp Shelby in Hattiesburg drove to Natchez Wednesday to destroy the shell.

The experts examined the shell at the house and decided it was safe to move it to the police firing range on Old Country Club Lane so it could be destroyed.

&uot;They wanted to destroy it in a safe place in case there was a problem with it,&uot; Huff said. &uot;They don’t fool with them. They don’t try to unscrew them.&uot;

The bomb experts spent about 30 minutes in Natchez dealing with the shell.

It turned out to be a dud, but officials think caution was still necessary.

Huff described dealing with a military shell as the same as dealing with a gun in that people should always consider a gun to be loaded.

This is not the first time, someone has found a military shell in Natchez. &uot;It’s happened several times in Natchez,&uot; Huff said. &uot;It’s just prudent to call the experts in to look at it.&uot;