Europe

WW2 bomb blast kills digger driver in Germany

  • 3 January 2014
  • From the section Europe
Police at the site where a World War Two bomb exploded in Euskirchen (3 January 2014)
The bomb went off as the machine lifted up earth and debris

A World War Two bomb has exploded at a construction site near a west German town, killing a man and injuring eight others, police say.

The explosion occurred after a digger accidentally struck the device during excavation work in Euskirchen in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

The machine's operator died on the spot. Two of those hurt were critically wounded, the dpa news agency reports.

Police said the blast impact could be felt a kilometre (0.6miles) away.

The incident took place around 13.30 local time (12.30 GMT) in an industrial park on the edge of town.

The bomb blew up when it was disturbed by the digger, as the machine lifted up earth and debris.

The blast damaged nearby office buildings and cars. Police say the explosion also smashed the windows of some local shops and homes.

Firemen were called to the industrial park where the World War Two bomb exploded
Although WW2 bombs are regularly being found, it is rare that anyone is killed by a device going off
The impact of Friday's massive blast damaged cars parked near the site
It was also felt in a 1-kilometre radius, smashing windows of local homes and shops

The BBC's Damien McGuinness says unexploded bombs are still regularly being discovered in Germany, particularly in the industrial north-west of the country.

In the 1940s, allied bombers tried to cripple the Nazi war effort by bombing factories there.

But our correspondent says it is rare that anyone is killed or injured by a device going off unexpectedly.

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