6 Jan 2015

Live shells from WWII uncovered in Wallis and Futuna

12:14 pm on 6 January 2015

20 live shells from the Second World War have been uncovered at a construction site in Wallis and Futuna.

The deputy commander of gendarmerie on Wallis, Gilles Berthet, says the 70 millimetre shells were discovered buried beneath the sand at the site on Wallis.

He says the live shells were then manipulated by the inhabitants of the village of Tepa before the police arrived, and could have gone off at any time.

Mr Berthet says the shells have now been grouped in a locked cabin until a team of deminers arrive from New Caledonia.

More than 5,000 US troops were based on Wallis in the Second World War, where two air bases, ports and hospitals were constructed.