Workers have encountered a large unexploded bomb under a street in Turin, Italy. The item was discovered in the city’s historic district.

More than 10,000 residents living in a “red zone” were evacuated from the city centre, with a further 50,000 advised to remain inside during the operation.

The history of high explosive bombs in Turin

Once on the scene, military experts identified the weapon as a British 500lb GP bomb. This type of bomb contains approximately 64kg of high explosives.

The Royal Air Force utilised many different types and weights of high explosive bombs during WWII. In total, 531,334 500lb GP bombs were dropped, making it the most common high explosive bomb dropped by the British during the war.

In June 1940, Turin was the first Italian city to be bombed by the RAF. However, it was not until the summer of 1943 that it sustained large scale air raids. Between July and August that year, 850 people were killed in Turin.

Due to this, the evacuation of thousands of Italian citizens due to UXO being discovered is not an uncommon event. In October 2019, 4,000 people were evacuated from the centre of Bolzano due to a large allied bomb being uncovered.

The UK faces a similar threat. In May this year, a German 500lb bomb was uncovered in Kingston upon Thames, London. However, the resulting evacuation was relatively small.

How can this threat be mitigated?

Brimstone provides UXO surveys to the UK construction industry. These surveys allow our customers to safely carry out piling works, ensuring their pile drivers will not strike any large German bombs.

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