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WWII bomb blast damages two houses
Photo: DPA

WWII bomb blast damages two houses

Published: 18 Sep 2012 11:04 GMT+02:00
Updated: 18 Sep 2012 11:04 GMT+02:00

An American World War II bomb left a huge crater in a pedestrian zone and two houses seriously damaged – but no-one injured – after experts conducted a controlled explosion on Monday night in western Germany.

Construction workers in Viersen found the 250-kilo bomb on Monday at lunchtime – and experts from nearby Düsseldorf said they could not defuse the chemical detonator, but would have to blow it up.

The builders had moved the bomb quite a lot, Die Welt newspaper reported on Tuesday, allowing it to slip into a ditch. “We had to assume that the long detonator had been set off,” said Dieter Daenecke, the bomb disposal head.

Hundreds of people were evacuated from buildings within 500 metres from the site, while people were told not to be outside within a kilometre so they were not at risk of being hit by shrapnel.

The evacuation was complete by around 10:30 pm, the town council said in a statement, and the controlled explosion was carried out shortly after 11pm. By 2:30am on Tuesday, residents were allowed to return to their homes. Just one person had to spend the night in a hotel, the town said.

Many windows of nearby buildings were smashed by the explosion and two buildings backing onto the bomb site were so badly damaged they will have to be partially torn down.

An equally large but less dangerous bomb was found in Hamburg on Monday, pulled out of the water by a digger. Experts there were able to remove the detonator – after buildings in a 300-metre radius had been evacuated.

Another WWII bomb which was set off in central Munich caused significant damage and required 2,500 people to be moved from their homes for the night last month.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

12:46 September 18, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
I always smile at their idea of a controlled explosion.
15:16 September 18, 2012 by freechoice
It's been more than 60 years and the Germans are still paying for the war.
15:49 September 18, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
If they were not prepared to pay for it they shouldn't have started it.
16:42 September 18, 2012 by Purple_Heart2004
@Berlin fuer alles, with all due respect, Germany did not start a Global WWII. Only a narrow minded fool who gets his/her education from documentaries and other indoctrination belives that rubbish. All of these statements that are still made still in 2012 that Germany "deserved" fire-bombing of its civilizations and no, do not properly count the deaths (Dresden), the rape of 3 million women, girls, and ol women, the thenic cleansing of Pomerania, East Prussia, Silisea, and Sudatenland, and of course the cultural genocide which followed the war only shows that the world today consist of mindless drones the likes of which reality TV is met for.
17:20 September 18, 2012 by Englishted
@Purple_Heart2004

If not Germany then who?
18:10 September 18, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
yes Purple heart2004. We can all go on about the effect WW2 had on Germany and other countries but the question has to be where was the root cause of all this genocide, fire-bombing, etc etc that you mention. It wasn't Hitler's intention to start a global WW2 but it was his actions and those of his Political colleagues who actually did start it. What you are saying is like saying I didn't mean to start a bush fire, I only wanted to burn one bush which happened to be in the middle of lots of other bushes.
19:35 September 18, 2012 by florence
Please don't make unkind comments.

I am an English person living in Viersen and I call this place 'HOME'

I am terribly upset about the damage this bomb has caused and my heart goes out to anyone whose property was damaged in last nights blast.

We all have to put the past behind us and get on with life. We can't change History.
20:06 September 18, 2012 by bwjijsdtd
Hey Purple_Heart2004 ... it is best to keep your mouth shut and let people think you are a fool, than to open it and prove them right ...
21:49 September 18, 2012 by wood artist
@Berlin fuer alles

While we could have a long discussion about "who started the war" that's not really the point these days. Most Germans alive to day weren't around in those days, and few that remain had any responsibility for either the war itself or the election of those who guided the German government of the time. In short, today's Germans are just as much victims of these bombs as anyone.

The fortunate thing is that Germany has done a good job of training construction workers and others regarding the discovery of them, and does a pretty good job of dealing with them when they are found. Sometimes damage will still occur, but in this case no one was injured or killed....meaning "the system worked." Even the recent situation in Hamburg was handled well.

Maybe the real lesson to be learned here...beyond the mechanics of dealing with unexploded ordnance, is that war is never clean, never "short", and never a viable solution to our problems. Although I don't think Germany is particularly "needing" of a reminder, maybe for everyone else we can use that "gentle nudge" when resorting to arms starts looking too attractive.

wa
22:07 September 18, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
Agreed WA. The point of my retourt to Purple Heart2004 was the bomb was dropped during war time which was as a result of Hitler's foreign policy at the time. The blame remains in what happened during those times and the fact Germany is still paying for these bombs is a result of that. No point in trying to point a finger elsewhere either. There was only one cause and the result is still there for us all to see.
04:33 September 19, 2012 by EffectivelyME
There was some discussion I remember about the last bomb detonation (Munich?), and it was suggested that America pay for it, because they were the evil one's who dropped it. That like this would be hypocritical.

I just read about bomb disposal folks (EOD) in Poland who are dealing with bombs from WWII - dropped by Germany!

The reality is that America has paid a lot to re-build Germany after the war. and by the same token, Germany has paid to help Poland.
08:36 September 19, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
you are right EffectivelyME. It was the draconian penalties and restrictions put on Germany after WW1 that led to the rise of the Nazi Party and eventually WW2. However at this stage I don't think discussions of America paying for these newly discovered bombs are appropriate. Just get on with it and consider each bomb put out of commission as another small step away from the past. Of course Germany will have more WW2 bombs dropped on it. The made enemies of practically the whole world back then and invaded and bombed most of Europe.
15:18 September 19, 2012 by jg.
"Germany did not start a Global WWII"

The German government chose to break the terms of their treaties with numerous other countries, starting with the secret buildup of their military and culminating in several invasions in Europe. This placed them at war with France, Britain and others.

After Japan attacked Pearl Harbour, their Axis allies, Germany and Italy, both declared war on the USA.

Having signed a peace treaty with Stalin, Germany subsequently invaded the Soviet Union, where they killed 27 million people, including 18 million civilians.

Germans of today have no responsibility for those events but let's not re-write history.
10:37 September 20, 2012 by Berzerker
Britain and France declared war on Germany, not the other way around. It was this declaration of war that marked the beginning of WW2. Interestingly, they did not declare war on Russia, who invaded Poland from the east 16 days after Germany did. Churchill and "Bomber" Harris intentionally targeted German civilians with their air raids, which makes them just as bad as the Nazis.
16:36 September 20, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
Berzerker. All what you say is true. But you fail on the fundamental point. This was all in response to German agression throughout Europe. The only mistake Britain and France made was in not declaring war far sooner. That would have resulted in avoiding WW2 and such bombs still being found throughout Europe.
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