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Thursday, April 22, 2021

‘Decades old’ grenade found during Pune Metro excavation work, bomb squad called in

In the past too, Pune has seen a few cases of old grenades being recovered during excavation work.

By: Express News Service | Pune |
Updated: March 30, 2021 10:25:28 pm
Cops guarding the rusted grenade-like object found during the ongoing excavation work for Pune Metro.

A rusty old grenade was found during excavation for the ongoing work of Pune Metro Rail project on Baner Road in Pune on Tuesday morning. The Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad (BDDS) later secured the grenade, which will be destroyed in a controlled blast on Wednesday, said officials.

Various defence entities, including experts from the Ordnance Factory establishment, are also looking into the recovery of the grenade. Police said a probe will be conducted to ascertain how old the unexploded ammunition is and how it ended up in the area.

Pune City Police officials said the grenade was found when construction crew members were using an earthmover for excavation for the construction of a structure for the Shivajinagar to Hinjewadi route. The work is currently being done on land that belonged to the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), which has been given to Pune Metro for its structure. On Tuesday morning, while removing a mass of soil, the crew stumbled upon a metal object, which looked like a grenade. They informed the police about the object.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone 4), Pankaj Deshmukh, said, “After verifying that it was in fact an old grenade, we called in the BDDS team. They secured the grenade and have now kept it in a sandbag enclosure near the place where it was found. Primary observations suggest that it is an old grenade, possibly a few decades old. Any examination of the object will be risky as we do not know how its structural integrity is. We have started the process to take requisite approvals to destroy it in a controlled environment with the help of a secondary charge. The procedure to dispose of it may take place on Wednesday.”

DCP Deshmukh added, “We have also sought help of experts from the Ammunition Factory, Khadki. Their opinion will also be taken into consideration.”

Sources told The Indian Express that various defence entities in Pune, including officials from Ordnance Factory establishments, were looking into the case.

A senior Ordnance factory official said, “It is a grenade which is in its safe mode as the pin is still intact. Such grenades are not just issued to the military but also police and paramilitary forces in conflict zones. This kind of ammunition generally has batch numbers stenciled on it. But with this much of rust, cleaning it to examine the batch may prove risky and it will have to be done with proper protective gear and equipment.”

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