Aircraft Bomb Duds

The explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) services of the German Federal States have to react continuously to allied UXOs. Several serious accidents with in recent years illustrate the severe hazard that these objects still have. In many cases, these are “chance finds” during construction measures.

However, are these finds really so “coincidental” and is one so powerless against them? And who is liable if there is an accident? Our flyer “Danger from aircraft bomb duds and what you can do” gives information to builders on what he can or must do to preclude claims for damages or even penal consequences.

Former bomb crater in a woodland

Aerial photo of Nuremberg

The first step in the clarification of suspected UXOs is always an aerial photo analysis. Although it is only very rarely possible to detect duds with this method, one can use it to delimit bombed from unbombed areas. Bombed areas are automatically sites suspected to be contaminated with unexploded ordnances (UXOs).

In terms of the German Occupational Safety and Health Act (Arbeitsschutzgesetz), both the employee and the contractor are obligated to protect their workers and the performing companies (joint responsibility of the builder). This includes the construction site risk with the inherent risk “UXO.”

In terms of the Construction Site Ordinance (Baustellenverordnung) and German Occupational Safety and Health Act (Arbeitsschutzgesetz), all work must be planned and performed according to the state of the art to prevent potential hazards to life and health. This necessitates safety planning. Prior to a construction project in an area suspected to be contaminated with unexploded ordnances, a localization of UXOs using the best available technology must thus be performed.

Dud find during construction work

Dud find on a temporary storage area for excavated soil

Bombs in construction waste recycling plants, as found in Euskirchen in 2014, have become increasingly common in the past few years. They are definitely an absurdity and evidence of all too negligent handling of the problem with duds on construction sites contaminated with unexploded ordnances.

It is high time that there is a change in thinking to ensure that no more lives are lost. However, not “quickly and cheaply,” but knowhow are requested in the process.

Our services to you include:

  • Historical research and aerial photo analysis
  • Hazard assessments
  • Concepts for the technical explosive ordnance clearance
  • Construction supervision

Download our flyer “Danger from aircraft bomb duds and what you can do”.

Carlo Schillinger
Managing Director, LBD
Diplom Geologist

Phone: +49 911 12076 101
Fax: +49 911 12076 110
Mobile: +49 171 55 91 875

LGA Institut für Umweltgeologie und Altlasten GmbH

Christian-Hessel-Str. 1
D-90427 Nürnberg

Phone:  +49 911 12076 100
Telefax:  +49 911 12076 110


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