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World War II bomb found near major Hamburg bridge

DDP/The Local · 7 Aug 2010, 12:50

Published: 06 Aug 2010 16:07 GMT+02:00
Updated: 07 Aug 2010 12:50 GMT+02:00

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It remains unclear how the large American aerial bomb wound up in a pile of metal scrap at the recycling centre just 800 metres from the heavily trafficked Köhlbrandbrücke, a fire department spokesperson said.

Experts from the city’s ordnance disposal unit planned to defuse the bomb in late afternoon, but first had to evacuate the surrounding 300-metre area and create a 1,000-metre warning area where residents and workers were instructed to remain indoors during the operation.

About 100 people were evacuated in the industrial area, while the bridge and two harbour docks were also due to be closed.

Friday’s case was unusual because unexploded war ordnance is usually found underground during construction work, the fire department spokesperson said.

More than 60 years after the end of World War II, weapons recovery remains an important task for police throughout Germany. Allied forces dropped more than 2.7 million tonnes of explosives across Germany during the war. Some of the ordnance did not explode and has become increasingly dangerous with time and corrosion.

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Entire neighbourhoods are frequently evacuated for bomb removal, and most are safely defused. Construction and road workers are trained to call emergency services the moment they suspect they've found unexploded ordnance, but accidents still occasionally happen.

In June of this year three members of an experienced bomb squad were killed and two seriously injured in Göttingen when a 500-kilogramme bomb they were trying to defuse exploded. In 1994, three construction workers were killed and eight bystanders injured when an unexpected bomb detonated, tearing through nearby buildings and cars in Berlin. In 2006, a road worker was killed near Frankfurt when his excavator hit a bomb.

DDP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

17:35 August 6, 2010 by William Thirteen
Drat! Foiled again!
18:28 August 6, 2010 by snorge
Germans tell me all the time our cars and stuff are junk and doesn't last compared to German quality. Well, here is proof. 60 years later and it's still ready to go... Now that's quality...
19:52 August 6, 2010 by NYsteve
I like to believe the Germans are ahead of the world in their recycling efforts!!!

or is it like the US advertisements for Timex watches...."Takes a licking and keeps on ticking"
18:16 August 7, 2010 by wenddiver
Never, never underestimate the shelf life of US made explosive Ordnance. People are still being killed by shells made in the US Civil War. US shells are very long lasting, because they are designed and built to be shipped over Salt Water Oceans to conflicts far away.

Additionally they have been copied by Allied nations and may not be of the same build quality as the original US made product.

US quality in Explosive Ordnance is truely first rate, and very stable, authorities should consult with US Army EOD to be on the safe side though.
07:39 August 8, 2010 by SDogood
Well, our stuff was quality back then...not so much anymore. See we'd get our bomb casings from China, our timers from Japan, the wiring from probably Germany, and we'd ship it all to the Philippines to have it assembled. But Wenddiver is right...might want to contact USA EOD to be safe.
19:11 August 8, 2010 by wenddiver
Ah, 1940s America, where smoking was OK, cars had V-8s, women wore nylons, soldiers decorated their vehicles with paintings of Pin-ups, where GIs taught English girls to jitterbug, and another ship was launched every 15 minutes and Mom made the world's best bombs while Dad was overseas.

What a great country, too bad the Politically Correct limp wrists had to screw it all up.
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