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Civil War artillery shell found by Charleston construction crew working downtown

Civil War-era artillery shell discovered in Charleston during construction work, Feb. 5, 2020 (Provided by Chris Smith).jpg
Civil War-era artillery shell discovered in Charleston during construction work, Feb. 5, 2020 (Provided by Chris Smith)

A construction crew working Wednesday morning in downtown Charleston along Gillon Street found an old artillery shell, according to Charleston Police.

The discovery around 10 a.m. prompted authorities to shut down the portion of East Bay Street near Broad Street, and Prioleau Street near Gillon Street. Streets have since reopened.

"It was interesting, yeah. I got a call this morning because it had been there for so many decade," explained Thomas George, the owner of 10 Gillon Street. "We really didn't think much about it, but we had just realized that it was pretty important to call the authorities and just make sure it was safe. So, it was an interesting day so far."

Explosives teams from the Charleston Police Department and Joint Base Charleston secured the unexploded ordnance, and the scene is now clear.

Officials believe the shell is from the Civil War era after examining the explosive. Authorities initially believed it may have been more recent.