Search for ordnance to begin at ex-military site

February 9, 2009 2:07:33 PM PST
A federal contractor plans to begin searching next month for unexploded ordnance thought to be spread across 10,000 acres of private land that was once part of a World War II infantry training center in East Texas. Field workers said they could find small arms ammunition, mines, grenades, rockets and mortars -- all of which were used when Camp Fannin was an active military facility from 1943-46.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers designated the area as having the most potential for danger among former military sites because of its proximity to residences, unrestricted access and the type of munitions that could be found near the surface. The camp was returned to private landowners when it was deemed unnecessary after World War II, leaving unexploded ordnance across the area.

In recent years, unexploded shells, grenades, dynamite and ammunition have been found in the area. Camp Fannin once sprawled across about 14,000 acres near Winona, which is about 95 miles east of Dallas.

Officials have been requesting permission from area property owners to search their land for ordance. So far, they have sent out more than 600 right-of-entry forms for more than 1,000 properties.

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