World War II bomb kills three in Germany

Ambulance crew rushing into the site after the explosion

Three members of a bomb-disposal team were killed and six people wounded in the central German city of Goettingen when a World War II bomb exploded prior to attempts to disarm the device, officials said.

The explosion occurred…as the bomb squad was taking final public safety measures ahead of the defusal procedure.

The bomb was the second device to have been found at the site in recent days, with the first having been made safe without incident.

Goettingen Police Chief Robert Kruse said that three “very experienced, highly professional” staff had been lost, and that it was a tragic day for the city. Lower Saxony Interior Minister Uwe Schuenemann said that the three men had between 20 and 30 years of experience in the bomb-disposal squad, and had worked on up to 700 devices together…

The exploded bomb had been uncovered at a depth of seven metres as foundation digging for a new sports stadium was being carried out.

Goettingen’s main train station, which lies some 700 metres from the explosion site, was the target of heavy Allied bombing raids during 1944.

Most Americans have no clue about dangers like this. We have been insulated by oceans and time from the dangers faced by civilian populations through either of the World Wars. Our soldiers brought home sad memories. But, the experience of being bombed – and duds being discovered decades later placing families in danger – doesn’t even exist on the edge of consciousness for most.

This was the 2nd of 2 bombs discovered during construction. The first was disarmed. There are about 2000 tons of unexploded WW2 ordnance found in Germany every year.