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Inert bomb at scrap yard

The New Zealand Defence Force [NZDF] arrived in Masterton yesterday for the second time in a month, in response to the discovery of another potentially explosive item.

Local police were alerted at 9.05am to the presence of an unexploded ordnance resembling a mortar round at Wairarapa Scrap Metals on Ngaumutawa Rd.

Police initially closed the road but pulled the cordon back to just the immediate area of concern after advice from the New Zealand Defence Force [NZDF].

Local businesses were notified, and an NZDF explosive ordnance disposal team responded to assist with identifying and disposing of the item.

An NZDF spokesperson said the item was examined and found to be inert.

Detective Nick Bunny, who attended the scene, said situations like these are treated seriously until those involved can determine how safe the item is.

“They were able to identify it as an Air Force training round, which obviously had no explosive parts to it.”

Bunny said the item was destroyed appropriately and that all appropriate actions had been followed by Wairarapa Scrap Metals.

“They did everything right. If members of the public come across these things, the approach is to leave it alone,” Bunny said.

“We treat it as seriously as we can until they’re able to determine it was safe to be handled and destroyed.”

Wairarapa relief response manager Dean Cadwallader said that when a situation involves an unidentified item, the NZDF are the first port of call.

“They’re our specialists in relation to unexploded ordnances,” Cadwallader said.

“They’re trained with the bomb squad, so police will lock down the scene to make it safe and then wait for the experts to tell us what it is.”

NZDF were last in Masterton at the end of June, after Junken New Zealand forestry workers found an inert object resembling a hand grenade while working on Ngaumu Rd.

Bella Cleary
Bella Cleary
Bella Cleary is a reporter at the Wairarapa Times-Age, originally hailing from Wellington. She is interested in social issues and writes about the local arts and culture scene.

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