Since Friday, police have uncovered three bombs buried in Gaston County that appear to be from the Vietnam Era. The search for more is on hold while explosives experts take a closer look.
The first bomb pulled out of a creek in the town of Ranlo was six feet long and weighed about 500 pounds. Police spent Monday searching for more and turned up two others. "This ordnance appears to be like a practice bomb - a lot of times these will be filled with concrete or some type of sand," explains Captain Edward Turas of the Gastonia City Police Bomb Squad.
Disconcerting as the discovery may be, Turas says it's not surprising. A foundry in the Ranlo area was commissioned by the military to make bomb parts from World War II up until the Vietnam War. "Actually from Charlotte to Gastonia you had machine shops that helped support the textile industry and during the war effort those same industries that made castings or materials for machines, could do the same thing for ordnance," says Turas.
Even "practice bombs" sometimes contain a charge or flare that could be dangerous, so local police called on experts from an Explosive Ordnance Disposal military unit at Fort Bragg to make sure that first bomb was safe for transport. The two others still need to be analyzed. Captain Turas says they appear to be "practice bombs" as well. Meantime, he says police have halted their search for more 60s-era ordnance in the woods of Gaston County.