Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The ticking time bombs of WWII

Germany is like a barrel of gunpowder. Nearly 70 years after the end of World War II there are still tens of thousands of unexploded bombs hidden under the earth. They could go off at any time.

For the most part, everything goes according to plan. But now and then we see how much power a World War II bomb actually has - even 67 years after the end of the war. Older residents feel like they've gone back to wartime; younger people feel like they are on a film set for a Hollywood movie.

Experts say that there are around 100,000 bombs lying under the soil and under water from the six years of the World War II. Friends of the Earth Germany estimates there are some 40,000 tons of chemical warfare agents in the Baltic Sea as a result of the Cold War.

But a few days ago, experts failed to defuse a highly explosive aircraft bomb in the city of Munich. Instead, they had to carry out a controlled explosion of the 250 kg device. The blast shattered windows in nearby buildings, and balls of straw, which had been placed around the device, flew through the air and set fire to roves. No one was injured.

The US military bomb, which had been discovered a day earlier during construction work, contained a chemical long-term detonator. Read More