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Munich bomb blows open compensation question

The Local · 29 Aug 2012, 16:01

Published: 29 Aug 2012 16:01 GMT+02:00

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No one was hurt, Jörg Fiebach, chief of the Munich fire brigade, told journalists in Munich on Wednesday. But half of one house was almost completely burned out, and many windows were shattered in the blast. Several buildings were set on fire by flying burning chunks of straw from the bomb site.

The extent of the damage is still unclear, but is expected to be in the millions of euros. The city council said several houses were uninhabitable, and two are considered to be in danger of collapsing.

A spokeswoman for Allianz insurance company told The Local on Wednesday that although acts of war were excluded from their policy coverage, the company would make an exception and still cover damages to policy holder's homes and belongings.

Pictures of the fireball and its aftermath

It remained unclear whether the city would pay for the damages. Munich Mayor Christian Ude called the issue of liability a "difficult question of law, which will likely end up being decided by experts," but added that "of course, those affected will receive compensation."

But Peter Lueg from the city's Regional Administration Office stressed there was no public liability claim to be made against the city. The detonation was carried out "according to the rules of the art", said Lueg, and the resulting damages were unavoidable. He spoke of "the long-term consequences of war."

Experts said the bomb was American-made, reported Der Spiegel magazine. It had a chemical detonator, consisting of a glass ampoule of acetone, which made the whole thing very unstable. Initial expectations that the bomb could be defused were quickly rejected in favour of a controlled detonation.

Head of Munich’s police Wilhelm Schmidbauer said, "razor-sharp bomb splinters" had been found 300 metres away from the blast site, proving that the decision to evacuate everyone with a 1,000 metre radius was the right one.

Some 2,500 residents were moved from their homes in the central Schwabing district. Although most had returned home by Wednesday afternoon, those with homes closest to the site of the blast were still waiting for the all-clear.

Load-bearing masonry is the typical construction style in the Schwabing area, making a detailed check of external walls imperative, said Norbert Gebbeken, Vice President of the Bavarian Engineering Chamber.

The bomb was discovered underneath the site of the popular "Schwabinger 7" bar on Monday.

Story continues below…

After it became clear it would the bomb's chemical delayed-action detonator would make it too dangerous to diffuse, officials detonated it late on Tuesday.

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Your comments about this article

17:33 August 29, 2012 by Bigfoot76
Who should pay? The ones who put it there.
17:46 August 29, 2012 by coffeelover
Well, that would be the mega-egomaniac hitler, Bigfoot76. Good luck collecting that bill. The rest of the world bent over backwards trying to avoid another war.
18:18 August 29, 2012 by matchstickmann
"Experts said the bomb was American-made"

send the bill to Uncle Obama please!
18:25 August 29, 2012 by stablemate77
the bomb was american made to destroy germany and most worked.....you play and then must pay....
18:26 August 29, 2012 by toysterNY
At the risk of sounding too liberal, hope funds will be available at will for those affected regardless of the billpayer. The KFV is a post war loan fund, I¦#39;m sure there has to be funds just for events like this. Again, I am truly sorry about the folks inconvenienced. But I do believe cofferlover has some merit in his comment ­ we should not be the sole billpayer because it does take two to tango.
18:39 August 29, 2012 by marimay
Send the bill to your Nazi Party, or the moron who decided flammable straw was a good idea.
18:50 August 29, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles

Who should pay? The ones who put it there.

Same logic. Who's idea is the Euro. Maybe the Greeks should send the bill to Germany.
20:40 August 29, 2012 by The-ex-pat
I realise that there was most probably no real way around this problem, but I do have to ask what bright spark came up with the idea of covering a 500lb bomb in straw and then detonating it. It does not take a rocket scientist to see what is going to happen to the straw...............or maybe in this case said rocket scientist was required............
20:45 August 29, 2012 by smart2012
Guys, Americans paid already all the german post war bills (marshall plan). Now Germans say that Germany is so rich, so pay the bill. Oh actually Bild says that Germany is rich, and I always forget that Bild only talks BS :)
20:48 August 29, 2012 by Englishted
American technology 1 German heath and safety 0
21:00 August 29, 2012 by lucksi
How about the fire insurance pays for this?

Or do they take the "A bomb under your house is a pre-existing condition" route?
21:19 August 29, 2012 by Mr Goodmorning
Many, if not most, of the munitions used by the Allies were American made but dropped by any of the Allies. It could have been dropped there by the Americans, Brits, Canadians, Russians, etc. Anyone who knows anything about world history knows that it's pretty clear that the Allies did not start WWII, so, unfortunately, that bomb is the legacy of the actions of a prior regime, thankfully defeated.
21:27 August 29, 2012 by coffmap8
They will probably blame Bush again LOL! The straw on an incinderary bomb? For goodness sakes! I also agree with Mr. Goodmorning on this one!
22:42 August 29, 2012 by strahlungsamt
Make Obama Pay, that's who.

Told ya so. Put that God-Damn Kommunist, Jewish, Mooslem Aethiest African Nee-groe born in Kenya in the White House and see what happens. He blows up stuff and eats watermelons. See, it's all Obama's fault. Next thing the Muslims will take over the world from the Soviet Union. He's the Antichrist I tells you.

Now scuse me while I go clean my guns and ask jeesus what to do next.
00:12 August 30, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
Let me get this straight. Their idea of a controlled detonation is to cover the bomb with straw and now they are thinking of compensation against the dudes who dropped the bomb? Have they been smoking some of that there straw of theirs?
02:39 August 30, 2012 by anaverageguy
Oh for goodness sake. Germany STARTS a world war and then Germans want to complain that they were bombed. I don't care WHO dropped it. Who shall the allies bill for the millions of tons of commercial shipping sunk by German U-Boats? From whom shall millions of Poles, Ukrainians, Romanians, Czechs, Slovaks, Jews, Gypsies and English seek reparations for the loss of family members? Who?

Most of the pain of WWII is long past.... unless you count the continued international tensions that are a direct result..... to whom shall we all send the bill? To Adolf Hitler?...... afraid he didn't leave a number where he could be reached..... I know... how about to the Germans who elected him in the first place and then followed him until it was too late claiming all along like Captain Renault that they were shocked..... SHOCKED?

Again. The war is long past even though we all continue to pay. And so I say to the Germans: Pay for your own damages and we will continue to pay for our own.

Who's going to pay? .... sheesh
04:00 August 30, 2012 by DOZ
Most of the Allied Bombs missed their target, or Germany would have fallen years sooner.
07:02 August 30, 2012 by TheWonderer
Sometime I guess it would help if people would not only read but also try to understand. Nobody says that America has to pay for it - after all, Germany started the war.

But within Germany, who has to pay?

The Federal Republic? The County of Bavaria? The City of Munich? The Insurance company? The land-owner? That's the question raised - and it is a sound one.

Another point: The straw.

Some dudes seem to believ they covered the bomb with straw directly. Well, I guess EOD-guys are not that daft, after all, they were quite successful. But to absorb a shock-wave, you have to have tons of absorbing (soft) material at hand plus sand plus net plus plus plus... Ever seen a video about controlled blasting in demolition action?

Straw is available everywhere at low cost at any time - and it is just one of many components. And if a little of that straw went up in flames ans spread minor fires that does not mean they did not do an excellent job.

What would you have done - put concrete on the sensitive object? Go play...

The Wonderer
09:44 August 30, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
Straw and sand had been laid on top of the bomb to absorb as much of the blast as possible, but chunks of burning straw were thrown onto neighbouring buildings, setting several on fire. More than 100 fire fighters were deployed to put them out. (http://www.thelocal.de/national/20120829-44627.html).

Doesn't sound like a successfully controlled explosion to me. Maybe then needed more straw :-))
10:42 August 30, 2012 by ddiddy
Why should there be compensation? If you don't have bomb insurance, guess what. I assume the bomb has been there for quite a while. Maybe the apartment owners should have had a bomb inspector do a check before the purchase.
15:27 August 30, 2012 by Bigfoot76
So many disagree with me, okay. But what do you say about the bomb found at Amsterdam airport? Germany should pay for the removal of that as well? Netherlands? or???

21:10 August 30, 2012 by Englishted

Did The Netherlands declare war on Germany? For that matter Germany attacked also without declaring war.

However Germany did declare war on the U.S. and this was the payback even if it only transpired some years later.

I am just thankful nobody was hear in what could have been a disaster ,money is only money when all said and done.
10:43 August 31, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
Bigfoot. I think nobody can be in doubt that Germany was the cause of WW2. If the cost of damage is decided on a cause base then Germany would pay for everything like this. However we have all moved on from WW2 so talk of compensation is nonsence.
11:29 August 31, 2012 by theRealOssi
It is amazing that so many of you are still going on as though the article suggested that the US should pay.

I would make a wild guess and say that most of the peeps following that trail of though are US Americans? (I did say most)
15:27 August 31, 2012 by tadchem
Evidently the Ordnance Demolition team was unaware that acetone is totally passivated by liquid nitrogen, available in most industrial cities.
16:36 August 31, 2012 by Berliner1978
Seeing how three EOD guys were killed by an identical bomb in 2010, I wouldn't have screwed with it either.

Think of it was a stimulus program for the local building trades guys.

You're welcome.
00:29 September 1, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
The Americans should have sent Chuck Norris over to defuse it. He would have farted in the opposite direction to the blast and neutralised it's power. :-)))
00:45 September 1, 2012 by BCSLAVE
Send the bill to US, England, and Canada. All targeted your cities (your women and children) at least 100 fold greater. They should be paying for their failed bombs and the subsequent cleanup.
08:23 September 1, 2012 by Enough
Well you could argue the French should pay as their WWI policies created the enviroment for Hitler to come to power and start WWII, which then caused the US to drop some bombs!
11:29 September 1, 2012 by Anee-One
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
14:01 September 1, 2012 by Al uk
Some idiotic answers on here but BC Slave's takes the biscuit!
15:10 September 1, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
Having read the rise and fall of the 3rd reich I can easily say without remorse that the war was the fault of the Germans. The only problem with them now is they have no slave labour to use to defuse these left-over bombs. It would be handy to have some Unter-Mensch to send in to detonate these un-exploded bombs, wouldn't it.
00:05 September 2, 2012 by Almirante
If the USA is to pay damages on this bomb, then our family want damages for the damages caused to our men who served in WWII.

Do you mean to tell me that, with all the world's technology today, these impetuous and self-important idiots couldn't wait a few days and find a way to dispose the bomb with far less or no damage!

This is just some bureaucrats wanting a way to make themselves important.
17:07 September 3, 2012 by Hefeweizen
Send the bill for damages to the people who put it there?

Fine, send that multi-million euro damage claim to Der Fuhrer Adolf Hitler. :p
20:11 September 6, 2012 by johnny108
Tadchem- liquid nitrogen would have done nothing. The acetone in the fuze dissolves a celluloid disk, which causes the release of a firing pin into the detonator. When the bomb hit the ground- the acetone was released- the acetone and the celluloid were already gone- it was the firing pin "hanging up" on something that makes it dangerous. This was probably the same kind of bomb that killed the Disposal guys in Gottingen a few years ago; now considered too dangerous to disarm- they blow them up where they find them.
04:36 September 12, 2012 by Klaipeda
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
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