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updated: 11/21/2012 10:05 AM

WWII ordnance detonated in east-central Illinois

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Associated Press

ST. JOSEPH -- The owner of an auction house in east central Illinois found a big surprise while unpacking the belongings of a recently deceased Longview man: a box filled with World War II-era explosives.

Jim Clingan tells The (Champaign) News-Gazette ( ) the items included a mortar with Japanese writing on it, several hand grenades and a belt of old large bullets. He says the former owner of the box had left behind a lot of tools and he'd expected to find a power saw in the box.

Clingan called the sheriff's office, and the local bomb squad took the items from the auction house in St. Joseph and detonated them Tuesday.

Sheriff's Lt. Greg Mills says one of the bomb squad technicians told him at least one of the grenades was live.

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