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The largest World War II bomb found in Poland explodes as divers try to defuse it



The largest World War II bomb ever found in Poland exploded underwater on Tuesday when fleet divers tried to defuse it.

The Polish navy said the bomb was discovered last year during preparatory work to deepen a waterway leading to the port of Szczecin in the northwestern part of the country.

The 5.4-ton Talboy bomb was dropped in April 1945 by the British Royal Air Force (RAF) during an attack on the Nazi German warship Luetzow.

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As officers dealt with the bomb, more than 750 people were evacuated outside the town of Swinoujscie.

Experts in the destruction of the Polish fleet tried to neutralize it under water by remote deflagration, which means burning its explosives, but it exploded in the process.

A British bomb from World War II exploded while being protected underwater by naval demolition specialists in northwestern Poland on Tuesday.

A British bomb from World War II exploded while being protected underwater by naval demolition specialists in northwestern Poland on Tuesday.
(Technical University of Poznan via AP)

“The process of deflagration has become a detonation. The site can be considered neutralized, it will no longer pose a threat, “Lt. Col. Grzegorz Lewandowski, a spokesman for the 8th Coastal Defense Flotilla, told the state news agency PAP. “All divers have passed outside the danger zone.”

A bomb blast weighing nearly 5,400kg, including 2,400kg of explosives, was felt locally in Swinoujscie.

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Swinoujscie has a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal, but a spokesman for the city’s mayor said no injuries were reported and no infrastructure was damaged, Reuters reported.

The Navy said the operation took into account “security measures”, including the possibility of the bomb exploding.

“The method used, in the first place, does not pose a risk to the soldiers and the people directly involved in the operation,” the Polish navy said.

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The Talboy bomb was designed by British aeronautical engineer Barnes Wallis and was used by the Royal Air Force to destroy large Nazi-controlled assets by underground strikes.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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