WWII Munition Found and Detonated in Andrews County

By Camaron Abundes  
NewsWest 9

ANDREWS CO.- World War II munition buried for more than 60 years kept crews from Andrews, Andrews County, and Odessa busy all afternoon. Workers with the Chesapeake Energy Corporation and contractors for the Arguijo Oilfield Service called authorities when they uncovered an old rusted metal box while trying to lay a gas pipeline off Highway 115 North East of Andrews.

"We looked at it and tried to figure out what it was. It had a propeller looking thing on the end of it and it looked like it had some fins on the end of it and I thought that's a bomb, I don't know if it's live or what? So we called the Sheriff."

Eventually the Andrews Fire Department and Odessa Bomb Squad would show up to assist.

"It's not typical, but it's not unusual. Midland used to have a bombardier training base," Lt. Eddie Reed, Commander of the Odessa Police Bomb Squad, said "This piece today was a military ordinance, air dropped, that had phosphorous in it."

The Bomb Squad spent several hours making calls to determine what exactly made up the old munition, after they were called in around 2pm.

"We were able to just burn it out," Lt. Reed said, "If they had hit it with their trenching machine, there is a possibility it could have gone off."

The explosion, resembled a small fireworks display and ignited grass nearby the munition site. Andrews Firefighters put the fire out in about 20 minutes.

"They found it and we were able to handle it and every body is going home, that's the important thing," Lt. Reed said.