Bomb Squad, Military Remove WWI Shell From Topeka Home

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- The Topeka Bomb Squad spent much of the day Friday securing a home where a nearly century-old artillery shell had been stored for the past several weeks.

According to the Topeka Police Dept., they arrived at the home, near the intersection of SW Harland Court and SW Oakley Ave., shortly before noon after getting word of the World War I-era shell.

Because it was a military weapon, the city's bomb squad had to wait for experts from Fort Riley to arrive to collect the 35mm round. They got there around 7 pm and removed it less than two hours later.

The homeowner, Michael Sparta, said he picked up the shell from a friend who was going to scrap it. Sparta didn't know much about it so he showed it to a neighbor who's a police officer. The officer asked a colleague from the bomb squad who determined it could still be live.

Sparta says he feels fortunate that no one was injured and no property was damaged. He also is relieved he did not end up taking it the scrap yard, where it could have caused damage with no one being aware what it was.

Sparta will not face charges for having the shell.

Posted by: Nick Viviani