Japanese Airport Halts Flights After Unearthing World War II Bomb
The 550-pound (250-kilogram) bomb was discovered late on Monday evening when construction workers were carrying out restoration work at a site close to a taxiway at Sendai Airport, which is located in Natori city of Miyagi prefecture. The airport was badly damaged by the earthquake and tsunami last year.
Although airport authorities believe the risk of a detonation is small due to an eroding blasting fuse, all 92 inbound and outbound flights scheduled for Tuesday were canceled as a precaution. Flights are expected to resume on Wednesday morning after the military bomb squad piled mounds around the bomb to prevent fragments from scattering in the event of an explosion.
The complete disposal of the bomb, which is about 43 inches (110 centimeters) long and has a diameter of approximately 14 inches (35 centimeters), is expected to take several days. Local authorities said the explosive was found buried about 20 inches (50 centimeters) under the ground, and army experts have determined it is a bomb dropped by the U.S. military during World War II.
The United States heavily bombed major Japanese cities during World War II, and it is not unusual for unexploded bombs to be found. Just last week, hundreds of people were evacuated in central Tokyo, the country’s capital, after the discovery of a 485-pound (220-kilogram) bomb.