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Beachgoers Make Explosive Discovery On Assateague Island

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The ordnance was detonated after being found.
WAMU/Bryan Russo
The ordnance was detonated after being found.

In Maryland, an explosive discovery was made on the beach at Assateague Island National Seashore that shut down the federal side of the island and caused huge traffic backups on Monday morning.

Think of the craziest thing you've ever found during a long stroll along the shoreline—a conk shell in perfect condition, a horseshoe crab, a beached whale, or maybe even pieces of wood from a shipwreck dating back a few hundred years. But what about explosives? Seems impossible, right?

But that's exactly what a few beachgoers on the area of Assateague Island known as North Beach found on Monday morning.

More than 100 World War II pieces of ordnance washed up on the beach and military personnel, park rangers and the state fire marshal were called in to secure and later detonate the explosives.

The park reopened a few hours later.

Park officials say while it's not unheard of for ordnance to wash up, they were certainly surprised by how many came ashore.

As for where the explosives came from, park rangers say they most likely belonged to the U.S. military, since Assateague Island was used as a testing site during World War II.

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