Workers in New York City were shocked on Friday to discover that the 200 year old cannon they were cleaning was loaded.
Upon inspecting the weapon, workers discovered that the cannon (not pictured) was loaded with gunpowder, wadding, and a cannonball.
The discovery was made by preservation workers from New York’s Central Park Conservancy as they attempted to remove rust from the antique cannon.
The cannon once sat inside the British warship HMS Hussar, a wartime ship that sank in November 1780.
At first workers did not notice the loaded munitions because they sat inside the cannon, which was plugged with a large piece of concrete.
When the gunpowder was discovered, 911 was called and technicians determined that the gunpowder was still active.
The cannon contained 1.8 pounds of black gunpowder, which was taken to a gun range for disposal.
A New York Police officer tells WCBS:
“We silenced British cannon fire in 1776, and we don’t want to hear it again in Central Park.”
The loaded cannon was being stored in a shed near the 79th Street transverse.
A spokeswoman for the Central Park conservancy tells the HuffingtonPost:
“Packing material, gun powder and a cannon ball are occasionally found inside cemented cannons when they are X-rayed during routine cleaning.”