A bomb, dating back to World War II, exploded underwater in Poland in what was supposed to be an operation to defuse it. Prior to the operation, hundreds of locals evacuated the area in order to ensure safety.
This bomb was an ‘earthquake bomb’, also nicknamed ‘Tallboy’, owing to the fact that it is over 6 metres long. Tallboys were designed to explode underwater, close to a target so that it could send waves of destruction during World War II. This specific one in fact one that failed to explode when the Royal Air Force dropped it to attack a Nazi warship in 1945.
Last year, during a dredging operation in Swinoujscie in Poland, workers discovered it. It was around 12 metres deep, and only the tip of it stuck out. There were 2.4 tonnes of explosives. Hence, the navy wished to defuse it.
I’ve lived here 50 years and there have been other bombs, but this is the first time there’s an evacuation!Halina Paszkowska
Poland locals evacuated before underwater bomb operation
Initially, the navy wanted to carry out a deflagration process, where they could burn the explosive charge without the bomb exploding. According to Grzegorz Lewandowski, spokesman for the Polish navy’s 8th Coastal Defence Flotilla based in Swinoujscie, the ‘tiniest vibration could detonate the bomb’. Before the operation, they evacuated 750 residents living nearby. Normally, people stayed inside their homes. However, this time, the navy sent them to shelters. One of them, Halina Paszkowska, talked about how the shelter was likely safe from the explosion. She feared, though, that she may contract COVID-19 from other people.
However, despite the efforts, the process did end in a detonation. However, the detonation did not hurt those involved in the operation at all. A city hall spokesman also reported that there seemed to be no reports of any injuries or damage otherwise. Moreover, they expect that the bomb will cause no harm.
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