Drought reveals WWII bomb in Italy’s River Po

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On Sunday military scientists defused and detonated the 450-kg (1,000-pound) bomb discovered on July 25 near the northern town of Borgo Virgilio, close to the city of Mantua.

According to the army, 2,600 people living nearby were evacuated for the disposal operation. The area’s airspace was closed, as was navigation along that portion of the waterway, as well as traffic on a nearby railway line and state road.

“The device was discovered on the bank of the River Po by fisherman owing to a drop in water levels induced by drought,” Colonel Marco Nasi explained.

The job of removing the explosive was not easy.

The fuse was taken from the US-made weapon, which carried 240 kg (530 pounds) of explosive, according to the army.

The bomb squad was then led by police to a quarry in Medole municipality, some 45 kilometers (30 miles) away, where it was detonated.

Last month, Italy declared a state of emergency in districts near the Po, the country’s longest river. It accounts for nearly one-third of Italy’s agricultural output and is experiencing the worst drought in 70 years.

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