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The County Press: Bombs Found at Elba Home

WWII bombs found buried under home.
Michigan State Police trooper Eric Hofmeister photographs
a bomb that was uncovered at 146 Hayes Rd. in Elba Twp.

WWII relics unearthed during demolition

By Susan Younger
Staff Reporter

This demolition project came with its own explosives.

Jack Lancaster, a North American Dismantling Corporation operator, was demolishing an old house on Hayes Road in Elba Township Thursday when he unearthed live World War II bombs and ammunition that had been buried for years in the basement.

"We wrecked the house and yesterday we cleaned concrete out of the old farmhouse," said Lancaster.

While he was working, a cement casing crumbled open revealing live ammunition rounds, and out popped the nose of a 250 pound bomb.

"I've been doing this for 22 years, and this was a first," said Lancaster.

Elbe resident Kevin Immink said he purchased the land in December from a woman whose deceased husband was a collector of military items.

"She made a police report and we suspected there would be something there," said Immink. "But when we opened it, there was a little bit of a shock and surprise."

Immink went through a scenario of finding the possible war relics, be said he was told by authorities he had to have proof.

"I figured this was proof enough, so I called the Michigan State Police directly and asked for trooper (Eric) Hofmeister to respond," said Immink.

Hofmeister took pictures of the bombs and ammunition and sent them to the state police bomb squad. They, in turn, contacted the explosive ordinance dispatch, who detonated the live ammunition on sight. Neighbors and nearby workers said they could feel the ground shaking.

"The largest one, which looked like a bomb dropped from a B-52 in World War II, was just a shell, " said Hofmeister.

When Lancaster came to finish the job on Friday, he discovered two more live bombs. The EOD detonated them on sight about 2 pm.

"The explosion was even bigger," said Hofmeister. "A big boom."

Immink said he hopes they've found the last of the relics.

Reprinted with permission.
Sunday, June 25, 2006 Edition


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