Unexploded Bombs Still Being Found

Between 1914 and 1918, France and Belgium became battlegrounds where thousands of munitions were launched by opposing sides. Despite having ended a century ago, the people of these two countries are still being threatened by the dangerous and volatile weapons of the First World War. There are hundreds of unaccounted for bombs that are lying in the old battlegrounds of WW1. There are organisations that work to clean up these areas and make them safe. However, the issue continues to be ongoing.

The Ardennes in France is where some of the most intense shelling occurred during the conflict. These bombs still pose a very real risk to civilians. The most significant event of this nature occurred in 2001. A number of large scale evacuations were put into effect in the Ardennes. This was due to the fear of unexploded mustard gas shells.

Chemical weapons are the bombs that disposal experts have the biggest concern over. During the First World War, hundreds of thousands of civilians died from gas clouds carrying chlorine. This mode of warfare can have a devastating effect on innocent people.

Because of this, every year government teams hunt for any volatile munitions left over from this war. They often have to detonate explosive ones but do not do this to gas shells for safety reasons. One of the biggest worries is that chemical shell casings could erode and release their deadly toxins.

It is not uncommon for farmers in France to find WW1 bombs while ploughing fields. In Verdun it is estimated that 900 tons of explosives are recovered annually. Dovo, a Belgium based bomb disposal team are well known for their continued work in recovering these explosives. Since its formation in 1919, at least 20 members of Dovo have lost their lives while in the line of duty.


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