The army’s bomb disposal squad DOVO has dealt with a Second World War shell discovered during building works at Brussels Airport. The discovery was made in a section of the airport where works are being carried out, but there was no effect on air traffic, Brussels Airport said. Works were stopped and a safety perimeter of 100m established.
The bomb squad was called out, and safely defused the shell. Reports originally spoke of three munitions, but Brussels Airport later issued a statement conforming that only one was involved. “The bomb disposal squad has confirmed that there was never any danger to passengers, employees of the airport or airport operations,” Brussels Airport said.
Unexploded munitions are regularly uncovered in Belgium, from West Flanders – perhaps the most affected area – to the Ardennes. In West Flanders, site of the Western Front in the First World War – the bombs are regularly turned up by farmers working in their fields, who refer to their finds ironically as the “iron harvest”. Second World War munitions are also common, as Allied bombers passed over Belgium on their way to bomb Germany, and sometimes had to jettison their payload because of anti-aircraft fire and damage to their planes.