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Engineers search for WWII bomb fragments at Fort De Soto Park

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PINELLAS COUNTY, FL -

Over at Fort De Soto Park, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is searching for bombs.

During World War II, young airmen dropped bombs on the area as they trained to fight overseas.

Starting Tuesday, engineers are cleaning up anything left behind.

Hidden underneath decades of overgrown brush at Fort De Soto Park, surveyors are trying to uncover relics from a time gone by.

From 1943 to 1945, the park was known as the ‘Mullet Key Bombing and Gunnery Range'. Young airmen practiced dropping both live and fake bombs here, all to hone their skills before heading to war.

And some of the remnants may still be out here.

Frank Araico with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said, "We've done thousands of these projects and you really don't know until you get out there."

From now until December, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will be carefully surveying the land and the water around Fort De Soto Park.

The government has commissioned the agency to do the work.

They're looking for any bomb remnants left out here. The last time a fragment was found was back in the 80s, but better safe than sorry.

Araico said, "Nothing's been found out here in the last 20 years, no one's ever been injured out here, but we don't want to leave that as an open question."

They'll use specialized metal detectors to find any fragments and dig them up. If they're dangerous the engineers will get rid of them.

Araico said, "If it is an ordinance item, we typically do a destruct on it, which we blow it in place, we'll either breach it or we'll blow it up."

Officials say visitors will not be at risk during the project, but they honestly have no idea what they could find.

He said, "Its speculation and we've done thousands of these projects, and you really don't know until you get out there."

By doing this work they hope to make the park a safer place.

Officials say if you spot any suspicious object out at Fort De Soto Park, don't touch it.

Instead, keep away and call 911.

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