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July 19, 2015

Experts detonate WWII-era photoflash bomb on Florida beach

Bomb squad identifies ordnance as M122 photoflash bomb

A stroll at the beach for one resident of St. Petersberg, Florida, turned into quite the spectacle on Sunday after the pedestrian spotted a "large cylindrical object" later identified as a World War II-era flare, officials confirmed.

After the beachgoer spotted the object covered in barnacles, she notified authorities in Pinellas County, who said the object was about four feet long with a cone shaped cap on one side. 

Out of caution, the beach and several homes were evacuated and a 300-foot perimeter was erected while the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office Bomb Squad came to inspect the device, The Tampa Bay Times reports.

The MacDill Air Force Base Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team was called in for help and identified the object as an M122 photoflash bomb, an aircraft ordnance designed to help military photographers survey the terrain below by emitting bright flashes of light.

At about 5:15 p.m. the Ordnance Disposal Team detonated the device, terrifying many seagulls. Out of concern for sea turtles who nest in the area, a team was brought on site to monitor their nests and keep them out of harm's way.

Pinellas county sheriff's deputies said the ordnance "appeared to have been submerged for a significant amount of time."

A closer view of the explosion can be seen at 10 News Tampa Bay Sarasota.