U.S. Airport Evacuated After Bomb Discovery

A WWII-era bomb, a Mark 65, weighing 1,000 pounds, was discovered during construction at Florida’s Brooksville Tampa Bay Regional Airport.

Near what will soon be the Wilton Simpson Technical College campus, authorities discovered the device. There was a brief road closure and evacuations spanning nearly a mile in every direction since it was unknown whether the device was active or not due to its condition.

The bomb squad from the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office was notified of the find on Tuesday afternoon, and it took them about three hours to declare the device a dud, according to authorities.

Reports show that dams and railroad bridges were among the fortified targets that the Mark 65, a general-purpose bomb, was used against during WWII. The device was a simple, unguided gravity bomb, which is basically explosives enclosed in a metal container.

Formerly used by bombers during World War II, the airfield where the device was discovered was known as the Brooksville Army Airfield. It is thought that the bomb likely came from Eglin Air Force Base, which is close to Panama City, Florida.

According to Hernando County Sheriff Al Nienhuis, the bomb’s corrosion and decay made it impossible to determine whether it contained live or inert ammo. As part of the evacuation, he claimed, local roadways were closed.

According to the sheriff’s office, they still intend to send a team from Tampa’s MacDill Air Force Base to the location to assist with the disposal of the bomb.

A local report revealed it was determined to be an AN-M65 GP bomb by ordnance specialists.

The National Museum of the US Air Force explains that the M65 1,000-pound general-purpose bomb was typically used against reinforced targets. Both the P-47 Thunderbolt and the B-26 medium bomber were capable of carrying two M65s each.