Four Injured After WWII Aircraft Bomb Explodes in Downtown Munich

by Matthew Memrick
(Photo by Sven Hoppe/picture alliance via Getty Images)

On Wednesday, a World War II bomb from more than 70 years ago injured four Germans at a busy train station in Munich.

The 550-pound bomb exploded by a bridge, and the city’s fire fighting brigade reported one of their men was injured. One person was seriously hurt.

Reuters reported drilling work at the site uncovered the bomb. 

According to ABC News, smoke rose from the Donnersbergerbruecke station site. The construction site for a new commuter train line is near Munich’s central station and about a half-mile to the east. Officials said experts scan the ground for bombs before usual site work. The government is investigating how this bomb fell through the cracks.

How Does A WWII Bomb Injure People In 2021?

Reuters reported with the blast that Germany is a graveyard of unexploded bombs and ammunition. Officials find more than 2,000 tons annually. 

British and American forces hit Germany with 1.5 million tons of World War II bombs and killed 600,000 people. German officials estimate that 15 percent of those World War II bombs did not explode.

Many dropped bombs burrowed into the ground as deep as 20 feet deep. 

Police said that this particular Munich site involved tunnel construction in the area, the news agency said. The Munich fire brigade reported that explosive technicians came to the site to examine the bomb blast.

Official suspended train service arriving and departing for the German city’s station because of the blast. ABC News reported that the service restarted later in the afternoon. Rail operator Deutsche Bahn did not know when things would get back to normal. 

When construction workers come across these World War II bombs, they are usually defused or destroyed in controlled environments away from city environments.

A History of World War II Bomb Explosions

But some recent bomb explosions have turned fatal.

Most recently, CNN reported that Ahlbach residents in southern Germany felt a morning blast in July of 019 that caused a 33-foot wide hole in a cornfield. Officials said a World War II bomb was the cause was likely the 13-foot deep hole. That same year, a 3,000-pound bomb caused the evacuation of 60,0000 Frankfurt residents.

In 2010, three police experts in Goettingen died as they prepared to defuse a 1,000-pound bomb. Four years later, a construction worker’s power shovel struck a 4,000-pound bomb in Euskirchen. That explosion drew comparisons to a 1994 explosion where three construction workers died in Berlin.

Another 2012 Munich blast caused damage to 17 buildings when officials tried to detonate a 500-pound World War II bomb. Three years later, Offenbach officials had to figure out how to fix a 10-foot hole in a road after a 1,000-pound bomb exploded.