An unexploded 500-pound World War II bomb in London is causing quite a bit of consternation since it holds the potential for mass destruction if it were to suddenly go off. Unfortunately, when it comes to the dangers posed by an unexploded bomb, London may be a Pandora’s box based upon the legacy left by these Nazi bombs.
In a related report by the Inquisitr, a live hand grenade found at a McDonald’s restaurant shocked its fast food workers.
Bomb disposal experts from 621 Squadron, 11 EOD Regiment, Royal Logistics Corps, were called to defuse the unexploded munition. Officials say the unexploded 500-pound World War II bomb in London was discovered at a building site. About 700 people were evacuated from surrounding homes and the authorities also set up a 650-foot exclusion zone as they worked to defuse the old Nazi bomb left over from the London Blitz of 1940.
You would think that an unexploded 500-pound World War II bomb would be less dangerous after the passing of so much time, but Army experts say it is actually even more dangerous than during WW II.
“The bomb has been in the ground for more than 70 years but unlike a fine wine does not improve with age,” an Army spokesman said. “It is potentially more dangerous today than the day it was made.”
This is not the first unexploded 500-pound World War II bomb discovered in London. Just in 2015 alone the areas of Wembley and Bermondsey unearthed even more of the deadly Nazi weapons.
“It’s a stark reminder of the history of the area, and humbling really to think of what East Enders had to deal with on a daily basis during The Blitz,” said London resident Rachel Walker, according to ABC.
But just how rare is it to find an unexploded 500-pound World War II bomb? BBC asked Matt Brosnan, a historian at the Imperial War Museum, this very question, and he believes the Nazis may have left many unpleasant surprises for England.
“Just to put it in context, the Luftwaffe dropped 24,000 tonnes of high explosive on London in 85 major raids during the war,” said Brosnan.”Clearly not all of those would have exploded, because of defects or other reasons, and they could have buried themselves tens of feet below the surface so we simply don’t know where they are. The risk is in their unpredictability, they are inherently unstable and still contain explosives, which is why they are treated so seriously and have to be disposed of properly and safely.”
During the London Blitz, Nazi Germany bombed London 57 nights in a row. More than 40,000 people were killed in the bombings, and even as late as May of 1944 the Luftwaffe was still making raid. The Construction Industry Research and Information Association (CIRIA) says that around 15,000 items, ranging from unexploded bombs to small mortar rounds and grenades, were removed from U.K. construction sites between 2006 and 2008.
Brosnan says the only good thing about finding an unexploded 500-pound World War II bomb is that it reminds everyone about the importance of protecting peace in the world.
“There is always a great deal of interest when such a device is found,” he said. “They bring to life the nature of past conflicts, remind us of the huge level of destruction during two world wars, cast a shadow over our modern life. We should not forget.”
[Image via The Sunday Times]