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I have a burning need to know stuff and I love asking awkward questions.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Workers find live British cannonball in Quebec

From BBC News

15th July 2017

Builders in the old part of the Canadian city of Quebec have unearthed a live cannonball fired by the British during a siege in 1759. They posed for photos with the large, 90kg (200lb) projectile, unaware that it was still potentially explosive. Army bomb disposal experts later collected the device, saying there was still a danger, CBC reports. The British besieged Quebec while fighting the French at the Battle of the Plains of Abraham.

Quebec City archaeologist Serge Rouleau, who examined the munition before the army and noticed that it still contained a charge, said it was more an incendiary bomb than a cannonball, Le Soleil news site (in French) reports. He had taken it home after the builders' firm, Lafontaine Inc, contacted the municipal authorities. "The ball would break and the powder would ignite, setting fire to the building," Master Warrant Officer Sylvain Trudel, a senior munitions technician, was quoted by CBC as saying.

"With time, humidity got into its interior and reduced its potential for exploding, but there's still a danger," he added. "Old munitions like this are hard to predict. You never know to what point the chemicals inside have degraded." The cannonball is now at a safe site and will either be disarmed or destroyed if necessary, CBC says. It is believed it was fired at Quebec City from Levis, across the St Lawrence River, the broadcaster adds. The Battle of the Plains of Abraham, part of the Seven Years' War, ended in victory for the British, and was a major milestone towards the end of French rule in what is now Canada.

[Wow…. And I thought the regular finding of unexploded bombs (and sea mines) on a regular basis was pretty amazing. But unexploded munitions from 1759??? You have to wonder how long they’ll be finding WW2 stuff or unexploded bombs in Iraq or Vietnam. The mind boggles, it really does!]


Stephen said...

On the bright side, if you were blown up by such a charge, you could go down in history as "Last Person to Die as Casualty of Seven Years' War"!

Mudpuddle said...

HAHA Stephen!! there's a bright side to everything!!!

CyberKitten said...

Indeed! LOL @ both!

We had an un-exploded bomb found under a school playground near us not long ago. It had been sitting there for around 80 years until they where digging foundations for a building extension. You just have to wonder what's just under your feet around here - especially in city centres that must have been heavily bombed in WW2.

Brian Joseph said...

This is indeed interesting.

To think that this stuff, manufactured so long ago, could kill someone today.

If I found an old cannonball the last thing I would have thought that it could still be dangerous.

CyberKitten said...

I'm with you there Brian. I'd never imagine a hundred's of years old cannonball could explode after all this time. Getting my head around WW2 bombs still being dangerous after all this time is bad enough!