Navy begins defusing biggest World War II bomb ever found in Poland

Navy begins defusing biggest World War II bomb ever found in Poland”

A British World War II bomb has exploded under water while being made safe by navy demolition specialists in north-western Poland. It's located on the southern edge of a popular Baltic Sea resort of Swinoujscie, that, like Szczecin, was a busy Nazi Germany military port during the war.

The blast was reportedly felt in parts of the port city of Swinoujscie.

The bomb was designed by British aeronautical engineer Barnes Wallis and then dropped by the Royal Air Force in 1945 in an attack on the German cruiser, Lutzow.

After it detonated, the bomb was deemed safe, Lewandowski said.

"There had been no risk to the individuals directly involved", he said, adding that the bomb "can be considered neutralized".

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The naval forces were using a remote-controlled device during an attempt at deflagration - a defusing technique that involves burning the explosive charge in the bomb without causing an explosion.

Swinoujscie contains a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal but a spokesman for the town's mayor told PAP noone was injured and no infrastructure had been damaged.

Around 750 local residents had been urged beforehand to evacuate from an area of 2.5 kilometers (1.6 miles) around the bomb, though some had told AFP they would be staying put.

Navy sappers were trying to neutralize the 5.4-ton device - found a year ago at the bottom of the Piast Canal, which connects the Baltic Sea with the Oder River - by burning out its explosives, but something went wrong and the bomb detonated. It was the largest unexploded WWII bomb ever found in Poland.

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