A Spanish Civil Guard unit had to descend into a cave to recover a grenade found by speleologists that dates from the Spanish Civil War.
The discovery was made by a pair of speleologists who found the projectile 50 meters deep in a cavity near the Coventoso cave, in the municipality of Arredondo in Cantabria, in northern Spain last Sunday, 23th August.
Upon realizing that there was a projectile, the two spelunkers took a photo of it and surfaced where they notified the police who ordered the experts to go to the area where it was found.
The Civil Guard mobilized the Specialist Technicians in Deactivation of Explosives (TEDAX) and components of the Special Mountain Intervention Rescue Group (GREIM) to remove the grenade and detonate it, authorities reported in a press release obtained by Newsflash.
The photographs taken by the spelunkers helped the police to verify that the head of the fuse was separated from the body of the grenade, which meant that it could explode if not handled carefully.
In this way, GREIM members received precise instructions to safely carry the projectile out of the cavity, using fixed rope progression techniques, authorities informed Newsflash.
The explosives experts determined that it was a pineapple-type hand grenade used in the Spanish Civil War that the country suffered between 1936 and 1939.
The grenade still had an explosive charge, which the TEDAX detonated in a controlled manner in a nearby place.
During the Civil War, the Cantabrian region suffered the worst military actions between August and September 1937 when the nationalist army led by the fascist general Francisco Franco annexed the Cantabrian coast to the rebel zone.
The Civil War that pitted national fascists against republicans left a balance of 500,000 dead, where more than 150,000 were civilians.