Unexploded shell discovered at Dranouter Festival

Unexploded shell discovered at Dranouter Festival
Credit: BELGA PHOTO JAMES ARTHUR GEKIERE

Festival goers pitching their tent at the campground of the Flemish folk Dranouter festival got a shock on 4 August when they discovered a small explosive device buried in the ground.

The munition is believed to be unexploded military ordinance. Upon the discovery of the object at around 17:20, festival goers were evacuated from the camping ground and a perimeter was set up. Festival organisers called in DOVO, Belgium’s de-mining service, to dispose of the device.

“Shells in Westhoek are nothing new in itself, but this one still had a head which means that there was still a real danger of explosion,” police spokesperson Glenn Verdru. “That’s why we didn’t take any risks.”

DOVO reportedly arrived on the scene and transported the shell away from the site to be neutralised elsewhere.

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This year’s Dranouter Festival is set to receive around 40,000 folk music fans, beating previous records. All tickets for Saturday have already been sold out and warm weather is predicted to swell the number of participants.

A “pre-festival” on 4 August, featuring musical acts such as Belgian comedy rock band Preuteleute, was completely free for the residents of neighbouring Heuvelland municipality.


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