Public Safety Blotter Articles

Pittsburgh Police Bomb Squad Removes Cache of Civil War Cannonballs from Former Allegheny Arsenal Site

Date: August 13, 2020
Incident Type: EOD
Location: Zone 2

No question, Pittsburgh is steeped in history, and the city has another secret to reveal.

Just before 12:20 p.m. on July 2, a Franjo Construction crew working on 39th Street, between the Allegheny River and Butler Street in Lawrenceville, struck something solid while turning soil for a new condominium development by Milhaus.

Thankfully, this excavator operator had some prior experience and promptly called the Pittsburgh Police Bomb Squad when he recognized what his machinery had hit; a cache of Civil War era cannonballs.

This was the same employee who had helped unearth 715 cannonballs while working not far from here in March of 2017, the site of the former Allegheny Arsenal, an important supply and manufacturing center for the Union Army during the American Civil War.

The tally on this latest discovery of cannonballs has not yet been established. The cannonballs are the property of the United States Army.

The ordnances are live and therefore sensitive to certain conditions, such as shock, heat, friction, and impact. As such, the Pittsburgh Police Bomb Squad will handle mitigation of the cannonballs in coordination with the Army.


Reporting PIO:
Cara Cruz