WW2 bomb exploded in Hattingen, Germany

Discussion in 'Modern' started by seesul, Sep 19, 2008.

  1. seesul

    seesul Active Member

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    WWII bomb injures 17 at Hattingen construction site

    Published: 19 Sep 08 16:53 CET
    Online: WWII bomb injures 17 at Hattingen construction site - The Local

    Seventeen people were injured on Friday when a construction crew unwittingly detonated a buried World War II-era bomb in Hattingen.


    An excavator apparently drove over a 250-kilogramme (550 pound) American bomb, damaging surrounding buildings. Most of the injured suffered auditory trauma from the blast, and the excavator operator suffered injuries to his hands, police in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia said.

    “The hole was astoundingly small for such a large bomb full of so many explosives,” Armin Gebhard, head of the Arnsberg department for military ordnance removal, told The Local. “But of course it damaged all the surrounding buildings too. We are really happy it wasn't worse.”

    Police launched a large-scale rescue operation, evacuating a large area surrounding the accident, which occurred near the former Henrichshütte steel factory.

    More than 60 years after the end of World War II, weapons recovery remains an important task for police and private companies 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.

    “Last year we cleaned up some 315 bombs that weighed more than 50 kilogrammes each, among other things,” Gebhard said. His district reports that it removed some 60,300 kilogrammes of old military ordnance in 2002 alone.

    Another major ordnance find cropped up on the Baltic Sea coast this week when municipal workers spotted a four-metre long (12-foot) piece of a World War II-era torpedo near the Timmendorf beach.

    Entire neighbourhoods are frequently evacuated for bomb removal, and most are defused without incident. Construction and road workers are trained to call emergency services the moment they suspect they've found unexploded ordnance, but accidents still occasionally happen.

    “An accident this big hasn't happened in our area for as long as I can remember,” Gebhard said.

    But people are periodically killed when they stumble upon old war explosives around the country. In 1994, three construction workers and eight bystanders were killed 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.

    With this in mind, state authorities offer - and in some cases require - that construction companies have their lots checked for ordnance. With the help of some 150,000 aerial photos taken by Allied forces during World War II, Gebhard's department is able to assess the potential danger of a construction project.

    “We are currently investigating whether the construction company involved in today's accident had their site checked,” he told The Local.
     
  2. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    The ultimate "Whoops".
     
  3. ccheese

    ccheese Member In Perpetuity
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    I suppose the good part of this is no one was killed. They will continue to
    find unexploded ordnance for years and years to come.

    Good post, Roman....

    Charles
     
  4. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Certainly true Charles, there are still thousands more of them lying around, I'm just surprised they don't find them more often. Also lucky that there was no one killed.
     
  5. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    I wonder if any of the crew that dropped the bomb are still alive.

    .
     
  6. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Saw this on the news.

    This is actually a pretty common thing, except that most of the time the bomb does not blow up. Bombs are still burried all over this country.
     
  7. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    That's a scary thought. Must be like all the mines in Nam and Korea.
     
  8. RabidAlien

    RabidAlien Active Member

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    When my Dad was stationed in Guam, we weren't allowed to play in the boonies due to them still finding caches of unexploded ordinance in the jungles. I couldn't imagine living day to day with the knowledge that such dangers might be in my own backyard. Makes one hesitant to dig up the old garden!
     
  9. Von Frag

    Von Frag Member

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    It is amazing what they still find. There are still huge amounts of unexploded ordinance left over from WWI, much less WWII. I have been looking at some Eastern front archaeology pages and everywhere they dig there are grenades, bullets, mortars and artillery shells. In regards to warbirds, a Russian helo crew was lifting the hulk of a P-40C. There was a bomb underneath it, it went off destroying the P-40 and the helo. This was in Kerelia(sp?) IIRC.
     
  10. Captain Dunsel

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    Between 1975 and 1978, I was assigned to Griffiss AFB, Rome, NY. During that time, an unexploded cannonball was found near Syracuse, NY.

    The cannonball dated to the Civil War, so it was over a century old! Apparently, it literally fell off a wagon taking it to a railroad depot. When sappers detonated it, it blew up with a very nice BOOM (per video clip). Over a hundred years after it was made, it was still dangerous....

    CD
     
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