- The cannon fired munitions aboard the British warship H.M.S Hussar
- Authorities remove about 1.8 pounds of gunpowder and dispose it at a gun range
- Author: "It was there for so many years, and people were sitting on it"
This could have caused a major blast from the past.
Workers cleaning a cannon last fired more than 200 years ago were shocked to find that it was still loaded with gunpowder and a cannonball.
The preservation workers from New York's Central Park Conservancy were removing rust from the antique cannon, which once fired munitions aboard the British warship H.M.S Hussar, when they made the explosive discovery, New York police Detective Brian Sessa said.
Workers immediately called 911, and NYPD's emergency services unit and bomb squad responded, Sessa said. Technicians determined that the gunpowder was still active.
Authorities removed about 1.8 pounds of black gunpowder from the scene and took it to a gun range for disposal, the detective said.
The loaded artillery piece was one of two Revolutionary War-era cannons being stored at the park's Ramble shed, near the 79th Street transverse, according to CNN affiliate WCBS.
"This was an amazing surprise," John Moore, author of the upcoming book "The Secrets of Central Park," told WCBS. "It was there for so many years, and people were sitting on it when it was a loaded cannon."