A suspected mine was detonated by military demolitions experts Wednesday morning. The mine was found about 20 yards from a New Jersey coast and nearby beach.
The mine was found partially buried in sand underwater by a local diver, who reported the discovery to authorities.
Nearby Colts Neck is home to a naval station that dispatched a four-member team with expertise in explosives disposal to the scene.
After examining the mysterious underwater mine, the team determined the safest solution was to detonate the explosive during Wednesday’s high tide.
The AP reports that 15 homes were evacuated by local authorities as well as anyone within a quarter mile of the coast.
At almost 11 am local time, an incredible spray of water rose 125 feet into the air. It was followed by a loud boom heard throughout Bay Head as the demolitions team detonated a ten-pound C4 explosive charge attached to the mine.
A Navy diver was sent to examine the mine after the detonation and found another charge would not be necessary.
After a successful and safe detonation, the naval team said they would be collecting mine fragments. They plan to examine the device to determine its origin.
Authorities, say local press, believe the mine to be a contact mine. Such mines are anchored underwater and positioned to strike the undersides of unsuspecting naval vessels.
Containing up to 600 pounds of explosives, the mine is believed to be of World War II or I origins. How and why it was located off a New Jersey coast remains a mystery however. Naval authorities say it may have been used in training exercises.
Some officials speculate that last year’s Superstorm Sandy may have been responsible for uncovering the mysterious mine.
The responding Naval explosives team has, since Sandy, responded to six other similar calls in the New Jersey area.
They explain that the suspected mine detonated off the New Jersey shore was not unusual as it is likely the area has a good deal of undiscovered munitions, dumped off ships in the final days of the the World Wars.
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