April 1, 2016 – HOT SPRINGS, Ark. — An Air Force bomb squad safely detonated a Civil War-era land mine Thursday that prompted the evacuation of about 20 homes in Arkansas.
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Matt Bell said he was doing excavation work when he dug up what he thought was a cannonball Wednesday near Danville, Arkansas, which is about 85 miles west of Little Rock.
Bell told The Sentinel-Record that he put the 32-pound land mine in his pickup’s backseat, buckled it in with a seat belt and drove 65 miles to his home in Hot Springs.
Bell said he realized it was a land mine after talking with a Civil War historian, so he called police Thursday afternoon.
Hot Springs Police spokesman Kirk Zaner said authorities evacuated nearby homes and contacted an Air Force bomb squad.
KTHV reported that Little Rock Air Force Base said the cannonball was detonated at an unpopulated quarry.