Mortar Shell Evacuates Calera Schools

1-17-06 - The discovery of an old artillery shell led to the evacuation of the Calera School system on Tuesday afternoon. A construction crew found the live 77mm mortar shell while they were building a safe room behind the school. The device has since been moved and detonated.

The evacuation happened around 2:45pm, just 20 minutes before school was to let out. Students were moved to a local church, and then sent home. But the shell was found around noon. Local authorities had no answer for why the school wasn't evacuated sooner. First News could not reach school officials Tuesday evening.

The device appears to be an old military artillery shell. The construction crew was building a safe room at the rear of the elementary school when they made the discovery.

Authorities say the school is in no danger, but they are concerned that more of the shells could be in the area. They suspect a former owner of the property may have buried the shell years ago.