Officials in Poland say the largest World War II bomb ever discovered in that country exploded underwater Tuesday as navy demolition experts attempted to defuse it.
The 5.4-metric ton British-made bomb was found last year during a dredging project in the Piast Canal, near the northwestern Polish port city of Swinoujscie, close to the border with Germany. The canal connects the Baltic Sea with the Oder River.
Polish navy officials say about 750 residents from around the area were evacuated earlier this week as the demolition crew began the process of defusing the bomb. They were working remotely so no one in the crew was injured during Tuesday’s blast, and city officials say no infrastructure was damaged.
The city was a busy port in German-occupied Poland in 1945 when experts say the British Royal Air Force dropped the bomb in an attack on the German cruiser Lutzow.
Known as “Tallboy,” the bomb was six meters long and contained 2.4 metric tons of explosives. Such devices were also known as “earthquake bombs” because they were meant to land near a target and destroy it with shockwaves.