The Slovenia Times

Two more WWII-era bombs found in border city


Two unexploded WWII-era aerial bombs have been discovered within less than a week during excavation work for an upgrade of the Nova Gorica train station on the border with Italy, after a similar bomb was found nearby and safely defused in July 2023.

Bomb disposal technicians scanning the construction site first discovered an English-made MC 500-lb (226kg) bomb containing 96 kg of explosive on 26 February. Only three days later they discovered another, similar American-made one just 50 metres away.

The bombs have one mechanical fuse and are in good condition, the Nova Gorica authorities have said, citing experts. Having identified the two bombs, the bomb disposal technicians have covered them with soil again, securing them to wait safely until they can be defused.

It is not clear yet when this will happen as the scanning of the site continues but AljaĆŸ Leban, the head of the regional division for the protection against unexploded ordnance, said they would be neutralised at the same time.

Like last year, the operation will involve evacuation of the nearby residents on both sides of the border. After the discovery of the first bomb, the plan had been to deactivate it on Sunday, 10 March, but the date is no longer certain after the second bomb was found.

According to Leban, the date will be set once the bomb disposal unit concludes its work on the site, most likely on 7 March. The evacuation will be coordinated with the Italian authorities.

The unit is inspecting the area with depth metal detectors and ground-penetrating radar. There are many different metal objects in the ground, which makes their work time-consuming and very demanding, requiring extreme precision, Leban said.

The Nova Gorica railway station area was bombed several times during the Second World War, with around 600 different bombs believed to have been dropped there, he said.

The neutralisation of the bombs is expected to be easier this time than last year when the 250 kg English bomb was unearthed by construction workers. Hit by an excavator, it was slightly damaged, which made deactivation trickier. It also had two mechanical fuses and around 100 kg of explosive.

"Last year the bomb was excavated by construction workers and we had no insight into what had been happening with the bomb beforehand. This time we have excavated the bomb ourselves ... We know exactly what's been happening with it, which makes the situation completely different," Leban said after the first of the two bombs were found.


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