This'll be the best family holiday ever! Seattle investigators have discovered a cache of heavy explosives beneath a new cruise ship terminal. But don't worry, "any kind of heat, shock and friction can cause these things to detonate". Wait.
Jim Barton, an underwater munitions expert, has a lot of less than reassuring and sort of disturbing things to say about the situation. While most of the pile is either empty casings or training rounds, heavy explosives have been found - and any number of heavy explosive rounds beneath a boat is a bad number. "It absolutely needs to come out. There's no excuse to leave it there. It's unwise to leave it there," says Barton. I feel like he's trying to tell us something. "It's dangerous. Its explosives, its munitions. They're designed to kill people and they're pretty much safe to be around if you don't disturb them." Ah, now you're making sense. But don't fret, future travellers - the Pentagon has deemed the port a must-clean area, and retrieval operations are underway.
But perhaps the most frightening part of this is that it's not abnormal at all: "Wherever munitions have been handled in the past, they have rolled off the pier, they've been dropped out of cargo net. It's perfectly normal, it's expected. What is unexpected is that there is a cruise ship terminal built directly above where some of these munitions are." Yes, blame the cruise ship, not the fact that it's normal for heavy explosives to be rolling off piers. [MSNBC]