A British World War II bomb has exploded under water while being made safe by navy demolition specialists in north-western Poland.
Navy divers were trying to neutralise the bomb through remote deflagration, which means burning out its explosives, but it accidentally detonated during the process.
The Tallboy bomb was found in September 2019 beneath a waterway leading to the port of Szczecin during work to deepen the passage.
More than 750 people were evacuated for the operation, which was carried out on the southern edge of the popular Baltic Sea resort of Swinoujscie, which was a busy Nazi Germany military port during the war.
The bomb weighed nearly 5,400 kg, including 2,400 kg of explosives.
Navy spokesman, Second-Lieutenant Grzegorz Lewandowski, said all the divers were a safe distance from the blast, which was felt by local residents but caused no injuries.
“The operation was carried out perfectly and safely and the bomb is safe now,” Mr Lewandowski said, according to state-run news agency PAP.
“The deflagration process turned into detonation. The object can be considered as neutralised, it will not pose any more threat.
“All mine divers were outside the danger zone.”
He noted it was the biggest ever such operation in Poland, where unexploded wartime bombs, missiles and grenades are still found.
The bomb was designed by British aeronautical engineer Barnes Wallis and then dropped by the Royal Air Force in 1945 in an attack on the German cruiser, Lutzow.
This sort of bomb was used by the RAF to destroy large Nazi-controlled assets through underground shocks.
Experts don’t know why it failed to explode at the time.