A hand grenade found by a passer-by on the grounds of a former military airport was determined to still be live, Fréttablaðið reports. While old ordinance can be found all over Iceland, it is very seldom still dangerous, although authorities advise people to never approach, let alone handle, any old grenades or mines they may find in Iceland.
The grenade in question was found near Ásbrú in Reykjanes on the grounds of the former Patterson Airport, which was built by the US Navy in 1942. Ásgeir Erlendsson, the media representative for the Icelandic Coast Guard, emphasised to reporters that if you find an old grenade, sea mine, or RPG, do not approach it. Instead, contact the police who will in turn contact the Coast Guard for safe detonation and disposal.
Finding ordinance at Patterson is not unusual; the area was often used for explosive tests. While clean-up since then has gone well, there may still be more ordinance beneath the surface of the topsoil that has not made its way to the surface yet. In fact, old ordinance has been found all over Iceland in different situations.
Some have found a mortar in the attic or at campgrounds; rocket-propelled grenades have been spotted by the side of the road; and of course sea mines make a frequent appearance.
So above all else, stay safe. No matter how old and beat up this ordinance may look, military explosives can have a shockingly long shelf life. Keep your distance, and ring the proper authorities.
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