New York: Workers cleaning a British cannon last fired over 200 years ago had to call emergency service after they found that the weapon from the Revolutionary War- era 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 on Friday when they made the explosive discovery, New York police Detective Brian Sessa said.
The cannon was part of the weapons aboard the British warship H.M.S Hussar during the American War of Independence (1775-1783) American War of Independence.
Workers immediately called 911, and technicians determined that the gunpowder was still active, CNN reported.
Authorities removed about 1.8 pounds of black gunpowder from the scene and took it to a gun range for disposal, the detective said.
"We silenced British cannon fire in 1776, and we don`t want to hear it again in Central Park," New York police said in a statement to CNN affiliate WCBS.
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 the affiliate.
"This was an amazing surprise," John Moore, author of the upcoming book "The Secrets of Central Park," said. "It was there for so many years, and people were sitting on it when it was a loaded cannon," Moore was quoted as saying.