100-pound aerial bomb from World War II era washes ashore near N.C. lighthouse

100-pound aerial bomb from World War II era washes ashore near N.C. lighthouse
100-pound aerial bomb from World War II era washes ashore near N.C. lighthouse (Source: National Parks Service)

BUXTON, N.C. (WBTV) - The grounds at a historic lighthouse in the Outer Banks closed Thursday and into Friday after a bomb washed ashore.

The National Park Service said “a potential unexploded ordinance” was found on the beach Thursday morning near the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Beach Access at the Cape Hatteras National Seashore in Buxton, N.C.

A U.S. Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal team unit from Norfolk, Virginia confirmed that the object discovered on a Cape Hatteras National Seashore beach is a “live military ordnance.”

NEWS RELEASE U.S. Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit determines that object on Cape Hatteras beach is live military...

Posted by Cape Hatteras National Seashore on Thursday, October 22, 2020

The unexploded ordnance has been described as a 100-pound aerial bomb from the World War II era. IT has been moved deep inside the beach near the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Beach Access parking area, according to park officials.

Officials said the U.S. Navy Explosive Ordinance Disposal team is going to detonate and remove it on Friday.

Park officials say that damage to nearby structures is not, but that Buxton residents and visitors may hear the detonation.

A safety perimeter about a half-mile long was placed around the object.

The following areas have been closed until further notice:

  • Cape Hatteras Light Station grounds and parking area
  • Old Cape Hatteras Lighthouse parking area and beach
  • Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Beach Access and parking area
  • Buxton Beach Access and parking area

“The discovery of old military devices is not uncommon along the Outer Banks,” said National Parks of Eastern North Carolina Superintendent David Hallac said. “Cape Hatteras National Seashore visitors should always be on the lookout for beach hazards, especially during and after periods of rough surf.”

On Friday morning, park officials said that because of a nearby residential structural fire, the detonation of the buried unexploded ordnance will be delayed until later in the morning or early afternoon.

Closures of the lighthouse grounds and nearby parking and beach areas will be closed through Friday afternoon.

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