Three live mortars found in Uitenhage's Strelitzia Dam
Three live mortar bombs have been found in the Strelitzia Dam in Uitenhage over the last two days.
Police spokesperson Captain Gerda Swart said the mortars, found by two fishermen, could have detonated at any time – with potentially fatal consequences.
She said two mortars were found at 10am on Friday by two fishermen who took it to the Kamesh area where another resident realised it was explosives and alerted police.
“It was later discovered that these two mortars were in fact still live and could have detonated,” Swart said.
“The police Bomb Disposal Unit from Port Elizabeth were informed and the mortars were deactivated.”
The third mortar was found by another fisherman at 3pm on Saturday.
“The man also unknowingly handled it. Fortunately, he notified the police and the Bomb Disposal Unit was immediately summoned to the scene and took possession.”
The mortars, believed to be of foreign origin, were discovered due to low dam levels.
“The dam levels have fallen over the last few months and it is believed that this could be the reason for the recent discoveries,” she said.
“By mishandling, these mortars can detonate and may have fatal consequences.”
Police are consulting with the municipality to close the dam so that a thorough search for other mortars could be conducted by the Bomb Disposal Unit.