Friday, March 21, 2014

A Century-Old Earth-Shattering Kaboom...

Brad_in_MA sends in another story of ordnance gone bad...

Ypres: World War One weapon explodes, killing two
A shell or grenade buried in western Belgium since World War One, has exploded, killing two people.

At least two more were injured, one of whom is in critical condition.

The device was set off as workmen at a building site in Ypres were trying to dig it up.
A stark reminder of the savage nature of warfare. Literally a century later - with none of the participants alive to recount - a piece of ordnance used in the "War to End All Wars" has claimed more lives. Who would have imagined, in 1918 as the war drew to a close, that some 96 years later one of the explosives used in the conflict would again inflict pain? This is hardly the oldest example, either - I know there have been stories of folks killed or wounded by Civil War ordnance.

It's one of the unspoken truths about warfare, though, that some good does come of it after all. We see huge advances in medicine - particularly in surgical procedures - after large scale warfare. In this case, there's a push to produce munitions that are only active for a (relatively) short period of time using explosive components that rapidly deteriorate.

In the meantime, be careful in Brussels!

That is all.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There was the case of a man who had been finding old cannon balls near Civil War battle fields. He was drilling holes in then when one exploded killing him.
In 2008 at the Petersburg National Battle Field an eight inch artillery shell was found. The Virginia State Police came out and exploded it. WW2 and WW1 bombs and ordnance is found all the time in Europe.