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1950s ammo spill located in NYC waters

NEW YORK, Oct. 24 (UPI) -- Divers say they have located a cache of old military munitions on the bottom of New York City's Narrows and Gravesend Bay.

Commercial diver Gene Ritter told the New York Post the ammo is believed to have accidentally spilled from a barge in 1954 and was found in just 20 feet of water.

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"They're all over the place," Ritter said as he climbed aboard his dive boat where a Post reporter was present. "Hundreds of them."

The Post Sunday reported the munitions include machine-gun rounds and at least eight copper World War II-era anti-aircraft shells.

The ordnance had been offloaded from the aircraft carrier USS Bennington, which was anchored off Fort Lafayette, which was later torn down to make way for the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.

Munitions experts have said the items could pose a threat to anyone trying to move them, or if the area is dredged, the Post noted.

The Navy maintained virtually all of the cargo from the Bennington was recovered at the time, however, the Post said newspaper reports from the same period indicated as many as 14,000 rounds of ammunition could be missing.

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