What could have ended as a horrific tragedy instead concluded safely Saturday afternoon along the Passaic River in Nutley after a magnetic fisherman reportedly pulled out an unexploded, live piece of military ordinance from the river, Det. Lt. Anthony Montanari, the Nutley Police Department’s public information officer, said.
Montanari says at around 3:45 in the afternoon, Saturday, July 16, a man, whose name was not released, was fishing magnetically when he pulled out what is described as “an unexploded military shell” from the bed of the Passaic River.
The man, realizing what he uncovered, immediately called police.
Park Avenue, River Road, Route 21 and the DeJessa Bridge were all immediately closed while the Essex County Sheriff’s Bomb Squad worked to remove the piece plucked from the river. The squad, realizing the ordinance was live, took it away from the scene and brought it to a safe location to detonate it.
It is not immediately clear what kind of shell it was, how old it was or how got into the river in the first place.
“That was quick thinking for the fisherman to get away and notify police,” Police Commissioner Al Petracco said. He also commended the Nutley Police and Fire department and thanked Belleville, Lyndhurst and the Essex County Sheriff’s Department for assisting.
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