WWI-era shell detonated by bomb squad in Topeka

TOPEKA (KSNT) – Things are back to normal for a Topeka neighborhood after the Fort Riley bomb squad detonated a military shell from the early 1900’s.

Friday we reported that the Topeka Police Department’s bomb squad had called in experts from Fort Riley to the home near the intersection of SW Oakley Avenue and SW Harland Court.  We spoke with homeowner Michael Sparta Saturday morning. He told us the World War I era device was an old artillery shell that he came across at a friend’s scrap yard.

Sparta said he enjoys picking and selling antiques as a hobby and didn’t know if it was safe, so he called police.

It ended up being a live round, so they took it out to Forbes and destroyed it,” Sparta told Kansas First News.

Police did not confirm whether or not the 76 millimeter round was still live but did say the ordnance has been rendered safe.  A two block radius around Sparta’s home was closed off for hours Friday.


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