Ida-Viru EOD team disposes of 533 World War Two-era explosives in 24 hours

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Unexploded ordnance, including German-style 'potato masher' grenades, from an earlier, unrelated haul. Source: Rescue Board

The Rescue Board's (Päästeamet) Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) teams have safely defused over 500 pieces of World War Two-era explosives in Estonia's easternmost county, Ida-Viru, in the past 24 hours alone, Baltic News Service reports.

The previous 24 hours saw over 40 similar items disposed of, while the latest figure stands at 533.

Ida-Viru County was the scene of intense fighting between invading Soviet forces and retreating Nazi German forces in the autumn of 1944.

The Rescue Board says that under no circumstances should a suspected piece of ordnance be handled or moved, and those finding such pieces – Saaremaa is another hotspot – should clearly mark the location and call 112 immediately, providing as much further information about the find as possible.

Marking a find needn't require any physical tag – using a Smartphone to take a photo, which is also possible remotely by inserting GPS coordinates, and forwarding it to the alarm center (Häirekeskus), will provide adequate data.

The EOD team will attend the scene as a matter of urgency, though those who find a piece of ordnance are requested to remain near the site until the personnel arrive. The explosive can be either detonated in situ or taken away for disposal, depending on the situation.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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