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British Second World War Mine Threatens Barrier Reef
January 31, 2002

A tourist snorkelling on Australia's Great Barrier Reef has discovered a British mine from the Second World War. Officials say it may contain hundreds of kilos of explosives and is highly dangerous. A defence department spokesman says a navy diver has identified it as a British anti-shipping mine that could contain almost 230 kilos of explosives.

The diver said it is corroded and is an immediate danger. The spike-covered mine sits in 10 feet of water and cannot be moved. The harbour master at Cairns has declared a wide exclusion zone around the site.

The fragile ecosystem is home to one of the world's richest and most diverse marine parks and is visited by tourists from around the world.

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