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Published On: Tue, Jan 10th, 2017

Belgians Evacuated after Discovery of WW II Bomb

nsnbc : Some 150 people in the Belgian town of Kortrijk were evacuated from their homes after a World War II bomb was unearthed during excavation work in the center of the West Flemish town Monday afternoon.

belguim_kortrijk-bomb-disposal_jan-2017The bomb was discovered during excavation work at a building site at about 4:15pm CET. Workers at the site, happy that the device hadn’t exploded into their faces, informed emergency services and police. Fire services and the bomb disposal service Dovo participated in the removal of the unexploded WW II ordinance.

Luckily the bomb, exact model unknown at the time of the writing of this article, can’t have been too powerful. People within a 120 meter radius, affecting some 150 residents were evacuated during the operation. They were taken to the De Zonnewijzer service centre. Part of the K Shopping Centre was also evacuated.

After it was established that the bomb was unlikely to explode, the local residents were allowed to return home and shoppers could continue spending their money at the K Shopping Center. The bomb was put under surveillance overnight.

Augsburg Christmas surprise.

Augsburg Christmas surprise.

Experts began the work to defuse the bomb at around 8am on Tuesday. Local residents and traders were evacuated again while Dovo bomb disposal experts worked to make the bomb safe. The nearby K Shopping Centre remained closed until midday.

This is the second time in less than a year that a World War II bomb has been unearthed in Kortrijk. Last May a bomb dropped during a WWII bombing raid was found during construction work in the Beheerstraat.

Unexploded bombs, especially from allied saturation bombing campaigns are “a gift that keeps on giving”. In December 54,000 Germans in the city of Augsburg had to be evacuated and had their Christmas holiday rescheduled because of an unexploded British WW II bomb.

CH/L – nsnbc 10.01.2016

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