According to local authorities, neighbors reported hearing an explosion. When investigating the cause of the explosion, neighbors discovered a man fatally injured in his backyard near a detached garage. ?
Police have identified the victim as Samuel H. White, 53. ??
Upon further investigation, authorities discovered other unexploded military ordnance at the house, and evacuated about two dozen homes nearby until authorities could determine the area was safe.
Police worked well into the evening collecting and detonating the ordnance. ??
The victim ran a Web site called Sam White Relics. The site included various relics for sale, such as Civil War artillery shells, cannonballs, bullets and other artifacts. ?
According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch article, White said on his site that he “will disarm, clean, and preserve your Civil War period and earlier military ordinance” for about $35 a piece. ??”I’ve done approx. 500 artillery projectiles and still have all my fingers (I must be doing something right, knock on wood)!” the site states. ??
Neighbor Brian Dunkerly told the Richmond Times-Dispatch that a chunk of the ordnance flew into the air and smashed through the front-porch roof of his home about one-quarter-mile away. The piece of metal–weighing close to 15 pounds–then shattered his glass front door, hit the interior wood floor and bounced to the ceiling before coming to rest in the center of his living room. ??
No one was injured in the Dunkerly home.