Workers digging part of a 500-mile gas pipeline Tuesday night discovered World War II bombs between the Barnett community and Pachuta, Miss., about two miles from Highway 11 and less than a quarter of a mile from Interstate 59.
Clarke County Sheriff Todd Kemp said an Oklahoma pipeline crew late Tuesday night uncovered what was later to be determined about 20 small unexploded white phosphorous bombs. It was prepping for a gas pipeline that will run through Clarke and Jasper counties.
But this area near Pachuta is an old World War II bombing and training range. The range covers about 10,000 acres and was closed at the end of the war. This area has been under private ownership ever since.
The ditch where the bombs were found is about 8 feet underground. Officials say they are dangerous because the state bomb squad determined there are traces of TNT still inside and, even after 60 years, they are still intact.
It was a multi-agency effort to remove and defuse the bombs. The Mississippi Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Army Ordnance Disposal Unit from Camp Shelby participated.
Kemp said no one was injured but work was temporally halted. Military officials later gave workers the O.K. to continue work on the pipeline.