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Old 05-04-2006, 00:02   #1
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Exploding paperweight costs teacher his hand

VENTURA, California -- A teacher who kept a 40 mm shell on his desk as a paperweight blew off part of his hand when he apparently used the object to try to squash a bug, authorities say.

The 5-inch-long shell exploded Monday while Robert Colla was teaching 20 to 25 students at an adult education class.

Part of Colla's right hand was severed and he suffered severe burns and minor shrapnel wounds to his forearms and torso, fire Capt. Tom Weinell said. No one else was injured. He was reported in stable condition at a hospital.

The teacher slammed the shell down in an attempt to kill something that was buzzing or crawling across the desk, said Fire Marshal Glen Albright.

Colla found the 40 mm round while hunting years ago and "obviously he didn't think the round was live," said Dennis Huston, who teaches computer design alongside Colla.
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Old 20-04-2006, 14:35   #2
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We had a similar one here in the 80's. A local diver had retrieved a pair of 3-4" shells from a popular local WW1 wreck and was using them an ANDIRONS at his fireplace. One of his neighbors got upset and called the police, who called the bomb squad, and the arguments stopped when the bomb squad was able to detonate the shells without any problems.

But the record probably goes to E.I.DuPont & company, who took a revolutionary war cannonball (filled with their powder, most likely) that was retreived from a mudbank around that same time. 200 years old, black powder, and it detonated just fine.

Fun stuff, munitions. Sometimes they even do what they're supposed to do. Explode!
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Old 20-04-2006, 14:40   #3
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Strange how some munitions can survive a collision with the ground. Like some bombs from WW2, that where dropped over Germany. For many years. Even up til now. They are still finding unexploded bombs still buried in the ground!!

And over in Bosnia-Serbia. They are finding landmines and some other types of muntions still unexploded over there. And the same over in Iraq!!!
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