10 Aug 2018
The discovery of an unexploded World War II-era bomb prompted the evacuation of thousands of people in western Poland, as authorities began a recovery operation in the Oder River.
The bomb, which was accidentally discovered by sanitation workers during a cleaning of the river, weighed 550 pounds and will be detonated at a training ground in Świętoszów. This follows a similar incident in the west of the city that had only happened two weeks prior.
Łukasz Szulikowski, local police officer, told public broadcaster Polskie Radio: “Several workplaces on Ostrów Tumski's side, as well as the Archaeological Museum and the Power Plant were closed for the time of bomb removal.” He estimated that 3,000 residents had to be evacuated, many of whom were transported to a school outside the area by bus. Surrounding boat traffic and nearby rail lines were also affected.
With that said, residents of the city of Głogów are all too familiar with this occurrence. The city suffered heavy fighting during World War II, making it unlikely that this bomb will be the last discovery.
Karol Skowroński, an official at the Głogów crisis management centre told TVN24: “This is the fourth case in this area during the last year.”
Undetonated ammunition from World War II is not a rare finding in certain European countries – one of which being Germany, where newly-discovered bombs have been a regular occurrence in recent times.
Locals and authorities are, in fact, quick to act upon reports of undetonated bombs. Newsweek reports that just last year, an elderly German man mistook a zucchini in his backyard for being a bomb.