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Rescue Board defuses World War Two-era bomb found in Kakumäe

The Rescue Board (Päästeamet) closed off the residential district of Kakumäe, just west of Tallinn, on Monday, in order to defuse an unexploded wartime aerial bomb found there the day before.

"Defusing work is taking place on the Kakumäe shore in Haabersti today from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.," the board announced on its Twitter page Monday.

"During this time, traffic in the area has been suspended and a ban on entering within a radius of 250 meters of the site has been imposed," the post continued.

According to a press release from the board, a member of the public called the alarm center (Hairekeskus) at 1.50 p.m. on Sunday and reported that they had found what looked like an explosive device in Kakumäe, Haabersti district. On Monday, the Rescue Board's bomb disposal squad went to destroy the discovered artifact.

It turned out to be a World War II-era aerial bomb. However, the map submitted shows that the radius of the danger zone was 250 meters and included three more streets and more than ten buildings.

Raido Taalmann, the head of the Rescue Board's bomb squad, told ERR that on Sunday the defusers were working on the explosive device and had made a plan, which was implemented on Monday morning. "Most likely we will evacuated people within a radius of 250 meters on land to ensure their safety," he said. "The explosion should not affect more than 250 meters, even if one does occur," he added.

In addition, the navy cordoned off a danger zone at sea to a radius of one kilometer. Taalmann said that a 100-kilogram bomb had been found.

As the explosive device was located at a height of about nine meters inside the cliff wall, the situation required the introduction of heightened safety standards.

Taalmann said that the defusing event went according to plan and at 4:31 p.m. the explosive was successfully rendered harmless.

In addition to the bomb disposal personnel and first responders from the Keila rescue team, cooperation partners from the Police and Border Guard Board (PPA), Tallinn ambulance, Tallinn municipal police and volunteer members of the evacuation group from Tallinn and Harju Women's Home Protection Units were also involved.

The 16 households in the danger area were evacuated by 12.41 p.m. and the routes of bus lines 21A, 21B and 41B were cut short at the Landi stop. During the defusing works on Kakumäe road, the public transport stops Sooranna tee, Teeotsa, Soolahe tee and Kakumäe were not in service..

Taalmann said such a finding is not very common for bomb disposal, but nonetheless such items are still found, especially further away from human settlement.

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Editor: Roberta Vaino

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