Bazooka shell in ditch closes Oregon road

SALEM, Ore. - Workers clearing roadside ditches found an almost 2-foot long Bazooka shell Tuesday afternoon.

The Marion County Sheriff's Office closed the road to all traffic after a public works employee discovered the shell in a ditch 5 feet from the road and reported it to her supervisor around 1:45 p.m.

Specialists from the 142nd Explosives Ordnance Disposal unit of the Oregon Army Natonal Guard in Salem responded to the scene. They determined the device was an inert Bazooka training round.

Meanwhile, sheriff's deputies redircted school busses and other traffic away from the road. The route reopened to normal traffic around 4:30 p.m.

The sherifff's office said the 3.5-inch in diameter shell was 22 inches long and likely a training round from the World War II era.

The Bazooka is the common name for the WWII man-portable recoilless rocket antitank weapon, widely fielded by the US Army during conflict in Europe, the sheriff's office said. Also referred to as the "Stovepipe", the innovative Bazooka was one of the first-generation of rocket propelled anti-tank weapons used in infantry combat.