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Watch as WWII-era bomb is blown up along modern British highway

A lot of stories I write around here combine many of my favorite things into one glorious bit of copy, but none so perfectly as this one. It comes out of the UK and involves WWII history, ordnance disposal, army engineers, and big explosions.

Unexploded ordinance from the war is still commonly discovered in England, Germany and other countries. According to Sky News, construction workers uncovered a huge unexploded bomb right next to a road on a job site in the Priory Road Industrial Estate in Aston, a ward of Birmingham, England, on May 15. Discovery of the 551-pound bomb prompted closure of an expressway that connects Birmingham's city center to the M6 motorway, and closure of the M6 itself. Police were summoned, and once they realized that dealing with the bomb was beyond their capabilities, the Royal Engineers were called in.

"This was the largest disposal of a device in situ in recent history and was particularly challenging due to its badly corroded state and the amount of sensitive infrastructure in the area," Sgt. Paul Daniel of 721 Explosives Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Squadron told Sky News. "Our top priority was to safely secure the site before carrying out a controlled explosion. We are pleased this has gone well and that the public can now return to their homes and the roads surrounding the area."

The EOD team built a massive bunker of packed sand around the bomb and detonated it with blasting charges. The blast sent a plume of sand and debris into the air and knocked windows out of an industrial building right across the street. Thankfully, no one was injured in the blast, and property damage was light.

Numerous roads and motorways were closed, and even some regular train service was canceled due to the discovery and explosion. Hundreds of homes and businesses within a 500-meter area were evacuated. Most roads and rail links were open again by the afternoon of May 16.

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