Huge Find Of Artillery Shells From WWII Exploded On Tourist Beach After Found By Swimmer

A deadly haul of unexploded artillery shells from World War II discovered by holidaymakers under the water near a beach in Turkey are destroyed in a controlled explosion.

Police and firefighters evacuated the coast after a swimmer spotted more than two dozen rusting shells in the water in Sile in Istanbul Province which has a 10-kilometre (six-mile) long beach of golden sands popular with tourists on the Black Sea coast.

The Ministry of National Defense Press and Public Relations Advisor, Colonel Zeki Akturk, said: “Environmental safety has been taken by our Underwater Defence commandos dispatched to the region, and investigations have been started.

“Underwater exploration activities were carried out in a 4,200-square-metre sea area in the region, and a total of 28 artillery shells, which are considered to be from World War II, were detected.

“Eleven of them, which could be removed, were brought to the SAS Group Command, and 17 of them were destroyed in a controlled manner yesterday.”

The authorities stressed that the ammunition had been on the seafloor of the Black Sea coast for a long time and was not recent.

The entire beach had to be sealed off while divers inspected the sunken stash of unstable explosives.

Some were safe enough to be removed for inspection, but most were destroyed on-site in a series of controlled explosions on 2nd August.

Video footage of one blast shows a huge plume of sand and water being blasted more than 100 feet into the air.

Experts believe the shells were carried to the coast by underwater currents.

Their origin is unclear, but officials do not believe they are connected to the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Photo shows an illustrative image of Sile, undated. Sile is a municipality and district of Istanbul Province, Turkey. (CEN)

The Istanbul Governorship said in a statement: “Based on the image analysis conducted by the Naval Forces Command SAS Group Command, it was determined that the suspicious objects were artillery shells.

“On 30th July at 10am, the SAS Group Command’s team performed a dive and detected at least 28 pieces of ammunition at the mentioned location.

“Of the identified ammunition, eight that could be taken ashore were removed by the SAS team with the approval of the Sile Duty Prosecutor for identification and disposal and transferred to the SAS Group Command.

“SAS teams continue scanning activities in the region. The destruction of the detected ammunition will take place on Wednesday, 2nd August, after necessary safety measures are taken.”

The Turkish authorities are investigating the find.

To find out more about the author, editor or agency that supplied this story – please click below.
Story By: Joseph GolderSub-EditorMarija Stojkoska, Agency: Newsflash

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