WASHINGTON - A portion of Fort Totten Park will remain closed and blocked off after suspicious metal canisters were found in the area in April. Officials now say those canisters were WW1-era munitions and they believe there could be more there.
WHY WAS FORT TOTTEN PARK CLOSED?
According to the National Park Service, the two metal canisters were found in a mound of dirt by a National Park Service officer on April 18.
The discovery sparked a large emergency response, forcing multiple roads to close in the area. Due to the unknown nature of the items, part of the park shut down for hours and the investigation even affected Metro service nearby.
After they were discovered, the canisters were given to the U.S. Army for analysis. NPS said a project on an adjacent property pushed about 10 feet of soil onto park land, likely unearthing the canisters.
Officials say one of the munitions was a 3-inch by 11-inch 75-mm projectile. The other was a Livens projectile, about 6 inches by 19 inches.
According to the Army’s assessment, the 75-mm projectile didn’t pose a hazard but the Livens projectile did contain an unknown liquid. The liquid had to be taken to a separate facility for additional testing but it was later determined to be non-hazardous.
Back in April, a National Park Service spokesperson told FOX 5 this wasn’t the first time canisters had appeared there.
"There was another canister found in 2020 in another area of Fort Totten Park and there was some thought that the canister could be an unexploded ordnance," Katie Liming said.
Now, NPS says they believe there could be other munitions in the area and are trying to work with the Army to conduct a comprehensive investigation of the park.
Officials warn anyone who believes they may have found a munition to treat it as dangerous and call 911 to report it.
DETAILS ON MUNITIONS FOUND AT FORT TOTTEN PARK
To date, the Army testing determined:
The 75-mm projectile contained only soil.
The Livens projectile was filled 85 percent with liquid. The liquid was 99.9994 percent water and 0.0006 percent a commercial chemical called acetophenone. That concentration is equivalent to one grain of sand in one million grains. Acetophenone is a commercial chemical used in the perfume industry as fragrance in soaps and perfumes, as a flavoring agent in foods, and as a solvent for plastics and resins. It is not hazardous.
That concentration is equivalent to one grain of sand in one million grains.
Acetophenone is a commercial chemical used in the perfume industry as fragrance in soaps and perfumes, as a flavoring agent in foods, and as a solvent for plastics and resins. It is not hazardous.