A World War II ordnance was discovered as workers were excavating the site for the new West Hall Building on the corner of Parkside Drive and Campus Drive East on the Middlesex County College campus Thursday afternoon. They notified Campus Police, who called the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) unit at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst. Members of the United States Air Force responded, x-rayed it, and determined it was safe for transport. It was driven to McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst. Airmen attached explosive devices to the ordnance and detonated it.
The ordnance did not have a fuse, and it is believed that it was only a shell and did not contain explosive material. It was 38 inches in length and about 12 inches in circumference.
In all instances, proper procedures were followed. Workers at the site had been given safety training, which included procedures to follow when coming upon any unexpected material. They were told to follow the three R’s: Recognize, Retreat and Report. The Police closed off the campus roads and set up a 500-foot perimeter around the site until the 87th Civil Engineer Squadron EOD arrived. Vehicular and pedestrian traffic was suspended for 12 minutes while the EOD removed the ordnance.
Representatives of the Army Corps of Engineers visited campus Friday and will be using ground-penetrating radar to scour the work site starting on Tuesday. The work is expected to take two days and excavating will be suspended until the site has been cleared.