Workers at a construction site near houses at Fort Meade found a World War II-era unexploded ordnance buried underground, prompting a temporary evacuation of some homes.

Fort Meade spokeswoman Mary Doyle said the 1940s mortar round was about one foot long and "looks like a tiny torpedo." The device, which was determined to be non-lethal, was disposed of and residents were allowed to return to their homes a couple hours after it was found at around noon Thursday.

Doyle said it is not unusual to find unexploded ordnances around Fort Meade, and that typically, a 300-meter area is cordoned off, as was the case with the Heritage Park neighborhood at Fort Meade.

"It's pretty common for them to find these. We had one just last month," said Doyle. "Anyone who does construction or utility work is made aware that they could find [unexploded ordnances]."

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