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Fishermen ‘shocked’ after finding suspected explosive in McDaniel Lake

Published: Sep. 12, 2021 at 9:16 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 12, 2021 at 10:18 PM CDT
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NEAR SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - A bomb squad from the Springfield Fire Department recovered a suspected explosive, possibly a grenade, that was found by two fishermen Sunday morning in McDaniel Lake.

James Newton, a frequent magnet fisher around the Ozarks, said his discovery Sunday caught him by surprise.

“I was kind of in shock, then I was so nervous I was shaking. Everybody around me was shaking,” said Newton.

Newton and another fisherman found the device near the bridge of McDaniel Lake while magnetic fishing, an activity that consists of searching for metal objects submerged in lakes, rivers and other bodies of water.

When they located the device, they alerted a security guard, who then called 911. The Greene County Sheriff’s Office, Springfield Fire Department Bomb Squad and Springfield City Utilities all responded to the lake.

A bomb squad from the Springfield fire department responded and blew up the device, according to the fishermen.

”The pin was still in it luckily, so I just grabbed the side and pulled it off to keep my head away from the pin,” said Newton.

A woman came down to the scene after it was clear because she heard the explosion from her home a few miles away.

”I was just in my kitchen, like making lunch, and I just heard a big loud ‘boom,’” said Karen Frazier. “I just I had no idea if it was inside the house. It does sound like super loud, like something exploded up my yard.”

Newton is no stranger to finding what he calls “treasure hunting.”

”I found a couple guns here. I found chainsaws, weed-eaters, just anything this metal, the magnet, can pull out the water. I found toolboxes, I found some money boxes, just all kinds of crazy things,” said Newton.

No injuries have been reported at this time. Authorities cleared the scene Sunday afternoon. It’s unknown if the device is connected to any criminal activity, but the Greene County Sheriff’s Office is handling the investigation.

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