WWII Relic Forces 53,000 People to Evacuate

Authorities in the community of Brindisi quickly evacuated 53,000 residents in December 2019 because of an incredible discovery. An enormous, unexploded bomb dropped by British forces was found in this Italian village, creating the need for the most massive peacetime evacuation in Italy since the second world war.

The order displaced over half of the city’s residents. The reason why this emergency action took place was due to a bulldozer damaging the relic while excavating for a remodeling project.

The ordinance weighed in at 440 pounds, containing over 40 kilograms of dynamite that authorities feared could explode at any time.

Not The First Incident for Italian Authorities

Over 10,000 residents of Turin were evacuated earlier in the month because a similar British bomb was found there and required evacuation. Another 4,000 people went through this evacuation protocol because of an unexploded bomb found in Bolzano.

The giant bomb found in Brindisi took over 45 days to disarm fully. Officials placed a “red zone” of more than 1,600 meters to restrict access to the area. That forced the prison, train station, hospitals, and the city’s airport to shut down.

It took more than a dozen explosives experts from the Italian military to render the ordinance safe. A special metal key turned using remote-control technologies allowed for it to be safely diffused. Several officials watched the entire process by observing drone footage from a situation room.

Then Italian authorities set the bomb off in a remote location outside of the city so that it couldn’t provide any more unwanted surprises.

How Did the Bomb Get There?

Italian officials believe that the unexploded British bomb fell on Brindisi in 1941. An air raid over the city occurred that year when Italy still allied itself with Germany.

Royal Air Force bombers based out of Malta were targeting the city or Bari and Naples at the time. The goal of these activities was to disrupt the shipping lanes of Axis forces.

Even with the recent discoveries of bombs that have now been safely removed from multiple cities in Italy, authorities believe that there could be thousands of bombs still waiting to be found.

This story is a reminder that the consequences of war can linger long after the conflict is over. It is in our own best interests to find a way to appreciate our differences instead of doing battle over them.