(RightWing.org) – An English vacation resort has been rocked by a huge blast after an 80-year-old Nazi bomb found by construction workers exploded. Army experts were called in to deal with it, but the old explosives turned out to be too sensitive. Old shells and bombs are still a real threat in the UK and Europe — one we’re lucky we don’t have to deal with.
The unexploded bomb in #GreatYarmouth detonated earlier during work to disarm it. Our drone captured the moment. We can confirm that no one was injured. Public safety has been at the heart of our decision making all the way through this operation, which we know has been lengthy. pic.twitter.com/9SaeYmHkrb
— Norfolk Police (@NorfolkPolice) February 10, 2023
On February 7, workers building a new bridge across the River Yare in the popular beach resort of Great Yarmouth made an unwelcome discovery — a 550-pound SC250 bomb dropped by the Luftwaffe over 80 years ago. A local historian says the bomb was probably one of six dropped by a German bomber on April 9, 1941. The other five exploded, but this one had lain at the bottom of the Yare, unseen but still live, for over 80 years.
Explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) in the UK is handled by specialist teams from the British Army’s Royal Engineers and Royal Logistics Corps. An Army team was called in to make the detonation safe by clearing and cordoning off a 440-yard circle around the bomb. The troops used a robot to cut into the bomb’s casing, planning to open it up and then burn off the explosive filler in a controlled “deflagration” — but the weapon unexpectedly blew up. There were no injuries, but journalists reported a “huge” explosion that threw debris into the air.
Experts believe there are still tens of thousands of unexploded bombs buried under Britain alone; an estimated 10% of German bombs failed to explode on impact. The situation in Europe is even worse, especially in German cities hit by heavy RAF and USAAF raids. In 2014, a German construction worker was killed when a British bomb exploded after being disturbed by a backhoe in Euskirchen. In 2020, hundreds of residents of Swinousjcie, Poland, had to be evacuated after a 5.6-ton RAF Tallboy bomb was discovered at the bottom of a canal; this also blew up as technicians tried to deflagrate it.
Experts say these bombs are now more dangerous than they’ve ever been; 80 years underground has made their fuses and explosives unstable, and many German ones are still fitted with live anti-handling devices. WWII — and even WWI — ordnance will be a hazard in Britain and Europe for decades, perhaps centuries. The US is lucky to have been spared the nightmare legacy of bombing.
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