PortandTerminal.com, October 13, 2020
The bomb was found in northwest Poland near where a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal was opened in 2016 | It was discovered last year during dredging in the northwest of Poland
WARSAW, POLAND – A British World War II giant Tallboy bomb exploded while being made safe underwater by Navy sappers in northwestern Poland on Tuesday. No one was injured.
Polish Navy sappers were trying to neutralize it underwater through burning out its explosives, but it went off in the process.
Dubbed the “earthquake” bomb, the Tallboy bomb was used by Britain’s Royal Air Force (RAF) and weighs nearly 11,900 lbs, including 5,290 lbs of explosive, the Navy said on its Facebook account.
The bomb was found in the Piast Canal which connects the Baltic Sea with the Oder River, and was dropped by the RAF in 1945 in an attack on the German cruiser Lutzow.
The bomb was found in September 2019 beneath a waterway leading to the port of Szczecin during work to deepen the passage. Over 750 people were evacuated for the sappers’ operation, as it was located on the southern edge of the popular Baltic Sea resort of Swinoujscie, which, like Szczecin, was a busy Nazi Germany military port during the war.
A spokesman for the sappers, Grzegorz Lewandowski, told The Associated Press that no one was injured as all the sappers were at a safe distance from the blast, which was felt by local residents in the town of Swinoujscie.
“The operation was carried out perfectly and safely and the bomb is safe now,” Lewandowski said.
He noted it was the biggest ever such operation by sappers in Poland, where unexploded wartime bombs, missiles and grenades are still found often.
The Tallboy bomb was designed by British aeronautical engineer Barnes Wallis and was used by the Royal Air Force to destroy large Nazi-controlled objects though underground shocks.
The one in Swinoujscie was probably used in April 1945 on the Nazi German battleship Luetzow. Experts do not know why it failed to explode at the time.
“There will be no deliveries while the bomb is being neutralized”
The site is near the town of Swinoujscie in northwest Poland where a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal was opened in 2016.”There will be no deliveries while the bomb is being neutralized,” a spokeswoman at site operator Gaz-System said, adding the timing of the defusing of the bomb had been agreed between the firm, the Navy and local authorities.
With reporting by Associated Press and CNN
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