Polish navy divers to start a fragile operation on Monday to defuse an enormous World Warfare II bomb on the backside of a channel close to the Baltic Sea.
The “Earthquake Bomb or the Tallboy. The bomb is six metres (19 feet) long and has 2.4 tonnes of explosives, equivalent to around 3.6 tons of TNT.
Tallboys were designed to explode underground next to a target, triggering shock waves that would cause destruction.
Around 750 local residents are being evacuated from an area of 2.5 kilometres (1.6 miles) around the bomb and the operation is expected to last up to five days.
The navy divers will instead use a technique known as deflagration to burn the explosive charge without causing a detonation, using a remotely controlled device to pierce through the shell to begin combustion.
Also the five-ton device nicknamed “Tallboy” and also known as an “earthquake bomb” was dropped by the Royal Air Force in an attack on a Nazi warship in 1945.
“It is a world first. No person has ever defused a Tallboy that’s so properly preserved and underwater,”
Grzegorz Lewandowski, spokesman for the Polish Navy’s eighth Coastal Defence Flotilla primarily based in Swinoujscie, advised AFP.
“The first two or three days will be preparations. Our bomb disposal divers will scrape around the bomb, which is embedded in the bottom of the channel at a depth of 12 metres. Only its nose is sticking out,” Lewandowski said.
It was discovered last year during dredging close to the port city of Swinoujscie formerly Swinemunde, a part of Germany in the far northwest of Poland.
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