A deminer examines an artillery shell found in a Kansas field


Barton County Sheriff Photos

BARTON COUNTY — A Kansas man found an unexploded artillery shell in rural Barton County.

Just after 8 p.m. Monday, Barton County 911 was notified that an individual had found what appeared to be a live artillery shell.

Several months ago, while conducting haymaking operations, a citizen discovered the chaff in a field near the airport west of Great Bend, according to a news release from the sheriff’s office.

He was picked up and put in a van and practically forgotten. Monday evening, the citizen contacted a relative familiar with explosives. The parent advised him to get him out of the truck and call 911.

The Barton County Sheriff’s Office was notified and responded to a location in the 200 block of Northwest 130 Avenue where the ammunition was in a farm alley.

Examination of the object revealed that no fuse was present in the nose, although the shell was filled with an unknown substance, possibly an explosive charge, and appeared to be sealed. The Wichita Police Department bomb squad was contacted and it was decided that the sheriff’s office would transport the item until the bomb squad arrived on Tuesday, July 12.

On Tuesday, the object was recovered by a deminer and taken to Wichita for an X-ray examination. To date, it is not known whether the cartridge contained an explosive charge.

Local WWII historians believe the bullet came from a 75mm recoilless rifle, possibly used at the Army Air Base west of Great Bend. Due to military and oil operations in Barton County over the years, it is not uncommon for citizens to locate unused military explosives or munitions.

If you discover what you think are dangerous objects, contact 911 or law enforcement.

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