Grenade found at Tweed farm
ARMY bomb disposal experts were yesterday called in to deal with a potentially life-threatening situation at a farm near Murwillumbah where a live World War II grenade was found in a farmer's back shed.
The Number 36M hand grenade was found on the Kynnumboon property yesterday morning while a farmer was clearing out the shed. It was later destroyed at the farm by the experts because it was unsafe to move.
A member of the Defence Force team from the Enoggera Army Barracks, who were called to the Numinbah Road property, said the man who found the device had acted in the correct manner, immediately notifying police who went to assess the situation.
"We just want to reiterate that if anybody finds these items to contact the police straight away," he said.
"Do not by any means disturb or touch these items -- any items at all that may be unsafe. The police will go out to the property, assess the situation and contact the relevant army representatives."
He confirmed that handling and moving grenades can cause them to explode, so people should leave it to the experts to avoid being seriously injured or killed. The 1945 vintage grenade is believed to have been taken as a souvenir by the previous owner of the property, an ex-navy WWII veteran.
The army representative confirmed that it was not uncommon for people to find vintage war artillery on old farms and large properties and should therefore be aware of the correct method of action. When police arrived on the scene in the morning, they covered the grenade with a blue, anti-explosive pillow and prepared to set up a no-go zone for several hundred metres around it.
That was expected to involve the closure of Numinbah Road about 2km west of the Kynnumboon Bridge late yesterday afternoon.
The Defence Force was contacted by police about 11.15am and a team was dispatched in the afternoon. They deemed the explosive unsafe to transport and it was yesterday destroyed on the property with the owner's consent.
It was after 4.30pm when the grenade was exploded under controlled conditions.
The army representative said if the grenade had been safe to transport, it would have been disposed of back at the army barracks.
"These items are never kept, they are always destroyed, said an army representative."
He said he wanted to remind people that if they do came forward to report the discovery of similar items would not be charged by police, and also that the removal process was a free service offered by the Defence Force.
Nearby farmer Terry Twohill had his own theories on how the grenade came to be at the farm. He said the paddocks around Kynnumboon were used by the army for Citizens Military Forces (CMF) bivouacs after World War II and the grenade may have been dropped by a trainee digger.
"It might have been inadvertently dropped then again one of the blokes who hated being in it might have thrown it around," he said.
"We used to bivouac around those areas. A lot of blokes came back from training in Brisbane and Sydney and had to stay in the CMF for two years. A lot of blokes hated it."