Considering the staggering number of unexploded bombs in Germany, defusing bombs from WWII has almost become a German routine, but in Munich last night authorities couldn't defuse a 550 lb. bomb in the heart of the city--so they blew it up. That's the only logical option, right? "The controlled blast, finally carried out just before 10 p.m., sent a fireball into the night sky, shattered windows in the vicinity and resulted in several small fires on surrounding rooftops. Nobody was hurt," reports Spiegel (NBC has video of the blast below). Yesterday we mentioned that officials in Munich had decided to stack straw and sand on top of the bomb so they could safely contain the explosion, and as Spiegel noted, some of that straw caught fire and ignited rooftops. "Some 30 fire engines and 200 firemen were in action to douse the blazes," reports The Daily Mail (which wins the award for most hyperbolic reporting), while The BBC cooly explains, "Experts said they decided it was not possible to defuse the 250kg (550lb) device because it did not have a mechanical fuse like others of its age, but one operated by means of a chemical reaction."
Whew, well that's good news--no one was hurt, damages were minimal, oh, and a gigantic bomb is gone. Bad news? Well for Munich officials, there are about 2,499 more bombs to go.
Update 10:49 a.m. A reader pointed us to this video of the detonation, "from about 300 meters":
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.