Man discovers old wartime ammunition in French river

The ammunitions were found in an undisclosed section of La Meuse river

A photographer from Avignon has discovered dozens of old war ammunition submerged in the Meuse river near Verdun, after jumping in to follow his neighbour’s dog.

It is not known if the shells are still live, or if they pose any danger, but a mine clearance bomb disposal team from Metz is expected to remove them in the coming days.

Initial suggestions say the ammunition could date back to World War II or I.

Florent, known online as Cabri27 Photographe, lives in Avignon (Vaucluse, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur), but was on holiday with family in the Verdun area (Meuse, Grand Est) when he discovered the cache, and decided to film the evidence with an underwater camera, later posting the video on his Facebook page.

The photographer only discovered the weapons after going into the river to chase after Starck, a dog belonging to his neighbour, who had gone into the river to swim and was taking too long to come out.

Aware of the potential danger of the find, the photographer has not widely publicised the exact location.

After filming carefully, he then contacted the local authorities - including the Mairie’s office - who alerted the gendarmeries and the mine clearance services.

A clearance operation is now being planned for the next few days.

The town’s local mayor was not surprised at the find, explaining: “German soldiers set up camp on the outskirts of our village [during the war].”

He believes that they may have thrown the ammunition into the river, perhaps as a way of hiding them, or to make them unusable after the soldiers left.

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