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WWII-era bomb explodes near a train station in Munich, Germany

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Over 2,000 tonnes (2,000,000 kilograms) of unexploded bombs are discovered in Germany every year.  Thus, in Germany, explosive threat mitigation is a legal requirement prior to the commencement of intrusive works such as piling, excavation, and construction.

Despite this, accidents can still happen.  One such shocking accident has occurred today, near a busy train station in Munich.

The devastating accident happened on a construction site near Donnersbergerbruecke station when a 250kg World War II bomb was inadvertently drilled into.  The resulting detonation injured four workers, with one worker reportedly facing severe injuries.

Airdropped unexploded ordnance (UXO) can lie up to six meters (20 feet) below the ground, making them difficult to detect without proper equipment and expertise.  It was just two years ago in June of 2019 that the residents of Ahlbach in Southern Germany were awoken by the detonation of a WWII bomb that left a 10 meter (33 foot) wide x 4 meter (13 foot) deep crater in the ground.

World War II ordnance is unstable and volatile -- heat, shock and vibration can cause unexpected detonation.  It is unclear why the accident in Munich occurred, but it is obvious that lessons must be learned from this devastating situation.

SafeLane’s explosive ordnance disposal teams in Germany find WWI or WWII ordnance every week.  It is therefore critical that those planning intrusive works in Germany, the UK and across Europe take all necessary precautions to mitigate this risk and protect their workers.

We start with a desktop threat assessment to determine risk rating and, if necessary follow up with an explosive threat mitigation strategy.

Typically, our BombRisk updates are light-hearted to demonstrate the strange scenarios in which UXO is often discovered.  However, incidents such as this one in Munich are sombre reminders of what can happen in worst-case scenarios.

Please, please don’t take a risk.  Utilise our expertise to keep your personnel safe.  Call the team: 01634 471 340

The thoughts of everyone at SafeLane Global are with all those affected by this shocking incident.

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