London Fire Brigade said that between 2009 and 2014 it was called to seven unexploded Second World War bombs and five unexploded hand grenades. On Monday 23 March 2015 they got called out to attend to a 5’ (1.52m) long, 1,000lb (half-ton) (454kg) unexploded bomb uncovered on a Bermondsey building site:
The Metropolitan Police did not mince words in a leaflet posted to those living nearby:
If the bomb explodes buildings in the 200m zone will be significantly damaged and those close to the bomb will be destroyed.
Remaining in your home is placing your life at significant risk.
In Germany, more than 2,000 tons (1,816kg) of unexploded bombs & assorted munitions from WW2 have to be dealt with each year. The failure rate for British/American bombs was estimated at between 5 to 15% (compare this to the 30% failure rate for cluster bombs, causing the forests of Laos & Cambodia to be killing grounds for children for decades following the wars of the 1960s). Both the fuses & explosive of these bombs are breaking down as the years pass, but that is actually making them more dangerous.
--------- Alex Kemp