national

Hokkaido police station evacuated after man brings bombshell in a plastic bag

17 Comments
By SoraNews24

Like in many parts of the world, the shadows of past wars linger long after the fighting stops. Even over 70 years since the end of World War II, bombs continue to turn up in all sorts of places from construction sites to closets, and they’re just as potentially deadly today as they were then.

So, in the afternoon of Nov 18, when a man in his 70s walked into the Asahikawa Central Police Station in Ashikawa City, Hokkaido, carrying a bombshell in a plastic shopping bag, it was only reasonable that the building and surrounding area were evacuated.

The area was a cleared of some 1,500 people to ensure safety while the Ground Self-Defense Force was called in to examine and recover the shell. Their investigation determined that the 28-centimeter-long and eight-centimeter-wide shell, likely once belonging to the Imperial Army, was not a hazard because it didn’t contain gunpowder.

The shell was a 75-millimeter round, commonly used in tank and anti-tank guns.

Meanwhile, many readers of the news online were surprised by his choice of a plastic shopping bag to carry it, especially since the government enforced a mandatory charge of three to five yen for plastic bags from supermarkets and other shops.

“At least use a tote bag! Those things can break pretty easily.”

“I never knew munitions transport was one of the many things you could do with a plastic bag.”

“That’s one tough old man.”

“At least take it straight to the military, not the police.”

“Just put it in an empty lot and then report it.”

“You’re killing the environment! Use an eco-bag!”

“Shopping bags really were amazing, weren’t they? I miss those things.”

“That has to be a violation of the sword and firearms law.”

According to the police, the man had found the shell when he tore down a relative’s house over 40 years ago and kept it in his own attic ever since. Because he was getting up in years, he wanted to make sure it was safely dealt with before he passed, and decided to turn it in to the police. So at least his heart was in the right place, although starting with a phone call probably would have been more prudent.

Since he had no criminal intent, hopefully the man won’t be punished too severely, but it shows that more awareness may need to be raised about dealing with recurring problem of unexploded ordinance. In fact, the very next day 10 more shells were discovered in a construction site about 200 kilometers (124 miles) away in Otaru City, Hokkaido, and needed to be secured.

In all cases, since their detonators often deteriorate with age, they can become highly unstable and go off with even the slightest jostle, let alone tossing it in a plastic bag, so be extremely careful around them.

Source: Sankei NewsItai NewsHokkaido News

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Man arrested for living above a public toilet in Oita for three years

-- Undetonated one-ton U.S. bomb found near downtown Osaka

-- Sapporo police speechless after discovering one man’s creative use for a bomb: a door stopper

© SoraNews24

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

17 Comments
Login to comment

You should never touch / disturb Unexploded Ordinance, once fused for detonation, anything can set it off….unless you know what you’re doing.

“Stop, Don’t Touch, Tell an Adult”

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Kinda overreacting if you ask me to evacuate around 1500 people just for a shell. What kind of shell from over 70years ago would have such a large blast radius anyway. Especially considered this is a central police station. The building infrastructure isn't made out of paper. Building is way too important to just abandon and evacuate everyone. What happen when calls come in from citizens requesting police assistance?

Any operations there just stopping for a few minutes can mean life and death for many people living in that prefecture. Some buildings in a nation cannot stop operating even if a bomb is drop on them. This is why you have to build a proper infrastructure able to resist any kind of emergencies while keep the work flow going no matter what. It kinda makes the police look incompetent if one of their central building can be incapacitated just from a bit of danger.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

“Since he had no criminal intent, hopefully the man won’t be punished too severely.”

why on earth would he punished?!

5 ( +10 / -5 )

Where do these Nuts come up with the garbage they pull?

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

How many times did he donk the detonator on the way in?

A live shell of that size would probably weigh in the region of 6-8Kg. Not generally something that would be easily carried in a simple carrier bag.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Kinda overreacting if you ask me to evacuate around 1500 people just for a shell. What kind of shell from over 70years ago would have such a large blast radius anyway.

It was an 80 mm projectile. Consider how feared the German 88 mm gun was. If that thing detonated it could blow a pretty big chunk out of a building. it would flatten a simple wood frame home. Plus as that explosive ages it becomes increasingly unstable and explosive. Maybe it wouldn't kill you if you were enough floors above the thing when it exploded but you would be in an emergency situation afterwards needing a fire department ladder truck to rescue you. Safer to get everyone out before something bad happens.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I'm picturing the eyes of the cops when he clanked this thing on their front desk.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

PAK 40 German 75mm anti tank gun.

https://youtu.be/PR9vqJZkmJY

3 ( +4 / -1 )

OMG, if that thing went off, you could cancel Christmas, 80mm ?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

He was sleeping under it for 40 years, that alone explains his behavior.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

If he had made a simple phone call the police would have come out and arranged removal. Instead of risking a possible detonation during his transit to the police station.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

According to the police, the man had found the shell when he tore down a relative’s house over 40 years ago and kept it in his own attic ever since. Because he was getting up in years, he wanted to make sure it was safely dealt with before he passed, 

LOL what? His attic was a safe place for this thing for 40 years?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Every jurisdiction (community) should have a 'bomb squad' assigned to it . . . .

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I question why he didn't report it/turn it in when he found it 40 years ago. I mean, guy's been sleeping in the same building as the bombshell for over 4 decades! Why did he think storing such an item in his attic was at all a good idea?!!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Why did he think storing such an item in his attic was at all a good idea?!!

He is a few grains short of a full charge I think. A bit of a human misfire.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It was his prize possession from the mantelpiece he wanted it to be safely dealt with before he dies.

40 years after he found it.

He probably was just having fun with it and knew it was a dud.

Shell-shocked they were those 1500 people evacuees

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Walking into a koban carrying a wartime shell in a plastic bag blew their minds.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites