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US tourist finds WWII shell, takes it to airport

Chase Winter
July 11, 2018

The woman thought the unexploded World War II shell she found could be taken home as a souvenir. She reportedly washed it in her hotel room to not get her clothes dirty, but wasn't worried about an explosion.

Artillery shell
Image: picture-alliance/KEYSTONE/APA/LPD Niederösterreich

A 24-year-old American tourist caused panic at Vienna Airport when she put an unexploded World War II artillery shell in front of Austrian customs officials and asked whether the "souvenir" could be taken onboard her flight home.

Officials quickly called the bomb disposal unit to remove and dispose of the 7.5 caliber dud tank artillery shell.  The incident shut down the arrival and luggage hall for 15 minutes.

Police said at no time were passengers under threat.

Read more: WWII bomb scare leads German police to heavy zucchini

The 24-year-old was reported to prosecutors for negligent endangerment and fined €4,000 ($4,694). 

The woman had found the World War II relic while hiking.

According to the Kronenzeitung newspaper, the woman reportedly cleaned the artillery shell in her hotel room so as not to get her clothes dirty when she packed it up to take to the airport.