A 21-inch-tall and 7-inch-wide metal case containing a World War II shell was found near the Mumbai harbour during dredging operations by a private company on Monday.
The firm, Jaisu Shipping Company, informed the Yellow Gate police after which the shell was brought to Mumbai Port Trust and kept at an isolated location. The police said it was found off Cross Island, and the Naval Armament Depot, which has its own bomb disposal squad, has been informed to dismantle and defuse the shell in writing.
The police said that as soon as the information was provided, a bomb detection and disposal squad (BDDS) was called in. But the Mumbai BDDS did not have the expertise to dismantle and defuse such a shell.
“Labourers of the company were operating a dredger near Cross Island when their boat stumbled upon the shell and stopped functioning. They found the large cylinder-shaped metal and alerted the port authorities who in turn alerted us,” said Pandurang Dhoke, senior inspector at Yellow Gate police station.
Deputy police commissioner Tanaji Gadge, who visited the site to ensure the explosive was safely kept, said that the area would be guarded till it is defused.