Icelander Cleans Attic, Finds Mortar - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Icelander Cleans Attic, Finds Mortar

Andie Fontaine
Photos by
Suðurnes Police

An Icelander cleaning out their attic found an old explosive, a mortar, from the bygone era of Iceland’s occupation by British and American forces.

The Suðurnes Police posted a photo of the mortar tip on their Facebook page, explaining that an Icelander was doing their holiday cleaning when they found the explosive device in their attic. The resident called the police, who arrived on the scene.

The Icelandic Coast Guard, which has a bomb squad, was then contacted to remove the device. They arrived, determining that the mortar tip was very old and no longer dangerous.

It is not unusual that World War 2-era explosives to be found around Iceland, as they are artefacts from the British and American occupation of the country during and after that time. This ordinance can range from mortars to highly destructive sea mines, and are dealt with exclusively by the Coast Guard, who typically detonate them in an isolated area.

If you spot what appears to be a mortar, mine or bomb outdoors, do not approach the object to get a better look. Instead, alert local police, who will in turn contact the Coast Guard, or contact the Coast Guard yourself at 511 3333.


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