World War II explosives surface fairly regularly in Estonia, but on Monday builders at the site of the National Museum construction found themselves face to face with quite a menacing rocket, weighing in at over 100 kilograms.
More concerning is the fact that in June a large garbage heap was incinerated just a few hundred meters from the spot.
Explosives disposal experts and rescuers were aided by light projectors due to poor visibility conditions and finished removing the rocket yesterday. The device was taken further away from the city, to a quarry, where it was destroyed.
Experts said the German-built rocket, used between 1943 and 1945, had been fired, but failed to explode. After being launched, rockets of this type used their own fuel supply to fly several kilometers and their explosion affects a 1,000-meter radius. Several such rockets have been found this year in Võru County.
It is at least the second World War II relic to be found at the museum construction site, which is near an old air base four kilometers northeast of Tartu. The last missile was a 149-millimeter shell.
Project organizers say the 63-million-euro museum should open its doors in late 2016.