Bomb Squad Evacuates Recycling Plant for Live Artillery

HOT SPRINGS, Ark.- It was a chaotic start to the week in Hot Springs.  Police say a man brought live artillery in the back of his truck to a recycling plant. 

Part of Valley St. was blocked off for several hours and the recycling plant was evacuated while they waited for the bomb squad to get there. 

Hot Springs police responded first then called the Explosive Ordinance Disposal team from Jacksonville after determining the artillery was likely live.

"The round appeared to be from about WWII era possibly Korean war so we don't wanna take any chances with anything like that," says HSPD Officer Joey Williams, "could be unstable."

Albert Aguilar who works at the recycling center says he got it from a friend who found in scrapping.  Aguilar who is interested in old military items planned to call the Air Force Base, have it decommissioned and donate it to a museum. 

"They're never going to make one again," says Aguilar.  "It's 1907, that's a 110 year old piece of ordinance and there's very few of them left." 

He never got the chance to make that call.  The EOD came to him on Monday and the rest is history. 

"[They] x-rayed it and said yeah, it's live so [they] took it out of the truck," says Aguilar.  "Last I heard they were going to take it to the county dump, pile explosives on it and blow it up."

No one was hurt and police say Aguilar isn't in any kind of trouble, he simply didn't know the magnitude of what he had. 

This is the second time in a year HSPD has responded to a call regarding live artillery.  They say each time they have to take every precaution to ensure citizens' safety.

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