Air Force

St. Pete Beach Evacuated After WWII-Era Flash Bomb Found

An Air Force bomb squad has safely detonated a barnacle-encrusted bomb that washed ashore on St. Pete Beach in Florida. 

A spokesman for Mac Dill Air Force base says the object was a photoflash bomb, used to aid WWII-era night photographic missions.

A beachgoer found the old bomb while combing the shoreline Sunday morning and alerted authorities.

That call triggered a daylong effort to evacuate beachgoers and homeowners, build a sand berm around the bomb, protect hatching sea turtles and safely detonate the M122 flare where it was found.

Officials established a 900-foot safety perimeter, before expanding the barrier to about 1,400 feet on each side prior to the bomb going off around 5 p.m.

St. Pete Beach Mayor Maria Lowe says about 25 homes were evacuated and 250 beachgoers displaced.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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