The 81-millimetre-calibre mortar shell. / / GUARDIA CIVIL

Bomb squad called in after dog digs up Spanish Civil War mortar shell

It was lucky escape for the animal and its owner as experts said the device's explosive charge was still intact and in perfect condition

J.M.L.

A tragedy was narrowly avoided after a dog started digging up a Spanish Civil War mortar shell, that was found to be in 'perfect condition' and with its explosive charge still intact.

The animal was with its owner on his farm in Navahermosa (Toledo) when it made the explosive find.

The man alerted the Guadia Civil, who sent experts from its Group of Specialists in Deactivation of Explosive Devices (Gedex) to the location.

The team verified that it was an 81-millimetre-calibre mortar shell from the Spanish Civil War that had all the necessary elements for it to detonate, with the consequent risk to life from improper handling.

Gedex experts took it to a safe area where they safely detonated it.

The Guardia Civil has reminded of the importance of not handling or touching any such artefact since its deteriorated exterior appearance does not always mean that the device is harmless. In fact, its internal mechanism may be in the same perfect condition as the day when it was manufactured, as was the case with the mortar shell found in Navahermosa.