GPRS Called to an “Explosive” Jobsite in Northern Florida

We at GPRS were recently called to a job site north Florida near a state university.  The customer was breaking ground on a city block in order to build a large student housing complex.  While moving dirt to level out the impending foundation, the project manager noticed something sticking out of a pile of recently turned earth.  The cylindrical shape, rounded nose, and four symmetrical tail fins left little doubt that they had unearthed a bomb.  The job site was immediately shut down.  The project manager called the local fire department which in turned notified the bomb squad.  With a little research, he was able to confirm that he had found a WWII era aerial bomb on his hand, and a few questions about his new job site.  That evening the bomb squad strapped some C4 to the bomb and executed a controlled detonation after lowering the bomb into a hole dug out on site for that very purpose.  

His next call was to Ground Penetrating Radar Systems.

Arriving the next morning, we were informed that the job site had no military history.  It was a coal depot with a train track running through it in the 40’s and 50’s.  Never-the-less, our job was to locate any additional “ordinances” that might still be buried on the grounds.  Due to the relatively small size of the target anomalies, we would have to run our 400MHz antenna over the entire multi-acre site on a very small grid.  The pattern would only allow for about 12 inches between scans if we were to have a reasonable chance of locating an item the size of that which we were looking for.  After beginning the grid in the area of the site that produced the bomb, several small items in the first 3 to 5 feet of earth were found.  These were carefully dug up by hand to identify.  Pipes, crates, bottles, and other assorted debris were found, but to the relief of our customer, we were unable to locate any additional bombs.  It turned out that the worrisome item they found was buried, decades ago, in what was essentially a pile of junk…not a stash of explosives.

Although the early indications were positive for our customer, we spent the entire day scanning the lot on the afore-mentioned tight grid.  Nothing alarming was found and the job site was back in operation the next day.  In addition to locating utilities, jobs like this one demonstrate the versatility that our technology, and highly trained technicians, are able to employ to further serve our customers.

Please contact Tony Valenti at (407)246-9900 or for any scanning needs that you may have.

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