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Live cannonball discovered in Mitchell, blown up by Ellsworth officials

A cannonball, containing live explosives and metal balls, was discovered in a building on the 1600 block of East First Avenue in Mitchell on June 30 at approximately 5:20 p.m., officials said Thursday.

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A cannonball, containing live explosives and metal balls, was discovered in a building on the 1600 block of East First Avenue in Mitchell on June 30 at approximately 5:20 p.m., officials said Thursday.

The bowling ball-sized, Civil War-era cannonball was destroyed at the Mitchell Regional Landfill on July 1 by the 28th Civil Engineer Squadron Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit from The Ellsworth Air Force Base. There was no property damage or injuries associated with the incident.

The owner of the cannonball discovered it under a workbench in a relative’s garage in Wessington Springs, according to Detective Lt. Don Everson of the Mitchell Police Division. Officials say the cannonball appears to have been in the garage for several years. It is unknown how the cannonball was obtained.

The owner, who was not named by the Mitchell Department of Public Safety, on June 26 brought the cannonball to Mitchell. After researching cannonballs online and talking to a friend, the owner discovered the cannonball could contain explosives.

The owner contacted law enforcement, who secured the scene. The Ellsworth’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal Section unit arrived in on scene on July 1. After examining it, it was collected and transported to the Mitchell Regional Landfill where it was destroyed.

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Two explosions destroyed the cannonball. The latest explosion could be heard for miles away at approximately 4:07 a.m.

Agencies involved with the incident are the Mitchell Police Division, the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation, the Mitchell Fire Division and the E.O.D.

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