The US Army Corps of Engineers says old Navy munitions found under Seattle’s cruise ship terminal are not a major threat and cleanup is underway. Still, that the old shells and weapons were initially uncovered by cruise ship thrusters and that has experts talking.
“Wherever munitions have been handled in the past, they have rolled off the pier, they’ve been dropped out of cargo net. It’s perfectly normal, it’s expected. What is unexpected is that there is a cruise ship terminal built directly above where some of these munitions are.” Jim Barton, an expert in underwater munitions, told Seattle’s King5.com back in October.
Divers started spotting the munitions in April as part of routine security sweeps required by the Coast Guard. Apparently the bombs were dropped in the water between the 1930s and 1970 when the U.S. Navy used the the facility. Initially it was empty shell casings found by divers but later searches revealed live ammunition capable of being exploded under where cruise ships travel.
“These are munitions, designed to kill people. Barton said adding “They’re pretty safe to be around unless you disturb them”
When the munitions were first discovered, Seattle’s cruise ship season was still in operation. Records indicate that at least two times in September, live ammunition was brought to the surface with cruise ships nearby.
This week the Corps of Engineers announced that it is leading a $10 million cleanup project with the Port of Seattle, U.S. Navy, Coast Guard and Environmental Protection Agency. Check this initial report about it all below:
Flickr photo iwona_kellie