Polish officials said that during a delicate operation on Tuesday, a large World War II bomb exploded to deface five tonnes of machinery in a canal near the Baltic Sea, but no one was harmed.
The unit – called “Talboy” and also known as “earthquake bomb” – was dropped by the Royal Air Force during an assault on a Nazi warship in 1945.
It was found at a depth of 12 metres (39 ft) last year, with its nose only poking out during dredging near the port town of Swinjski in northwestern Poland.
More than six metres in total, it was filled with 2,4 tonnes of explosives – equal to around 3,6 tonnes of TNT.
The Navy has previously reported that it had declined the conventional alternative of a controlled explosion in fear of damaging a bridge some 500 metres downstream.
Instead, it had intended to use a method known as deflation to ignite the explosive charge without detonation to set off the blast, so that the remote could pierce through the shell to cause combustion. You may use a managed computer.
But in the end, “the mechanism of deflation has turned into an eruption,” said Grazgorz Lewandowski, spokesperson for the 8th Coastal Defense Flotilla of the Polish Navy in Svenejski.
The Swinowski City Hall spokesperson assured AFP that they had not heard any rumours of injury to anybody during the military divers’ operation, or any disruption to the city’s facilities.
Before the procedure started this week, Lewandowski called it “a very delicate job,” saying that “the most pungent sounds could blast.”
Approximately 750 local people have already been advised to withdraw about 2.5 kilometres (1.6 mi) from the area around the blast, while some told AFP that they would remain.
Halina Paszkowska said that the “principal danger” to her was the risk of capturing Covid-19 in a sports hall where the residents were sheltered during the operation.
“I’ve been living here for 50 years and there are other rockets, but this is the first time evacuation has taken place. We just had to sit indoors until that, “she said.
Maritime traffic on the navigation channel and nearby rivers were stopped in an area of 16 kilometres around the bombing action.
During World War II, Swinoujscie – at the time, Swimunde, part of Germany, was one of the most powerful Baltic bases of the German Navy and was subject to mass bombing, the historian Piotr Lakowski, author of the novel, said. In April 1945, the Royal Air Force raided the Luetzow cruiser of Germany.
In the dying days of the war, the cannons of the ship were used to advancing the Red Army.
On April 16, 1945, the RAF named 18 Lancaster bombers from the 617th Squadron known as “Dumpsters.”
The assailants targeted Lutzo with 12 Talboys, including the detonation at the time.
The Tallboy was designed to explode in the underground next to the target, triggering shock waves that would cause destruction.