Italy closes route over Brenner mountain pass to defuse WW2 bomb

Transportation out of the Brenner Pass on the Austrian-Italian border will be stopped Sunday in order to defuse an unexploded bomb dropped during World War II.

Siegele Roland/File
The Innsbruck station at the north end of the Brenner railway is seen here. Transportation out of the Brenner Pass on the Austrian-Italian border will be stopped Sunday in order to defuse an unexploded bomb dropped during World War II.

An unexploded bomb dropped from a U.S. airplane during World War Two will halt car and train transportation south of the Brenner Pass on the Austrian-Italian border on Sunday morning as explosives units defuse and dispose of the device.

Austrian autobahn police said on Saturday that the A22, a major north-south link between Italy and Austria, as well as the Brenner Pass highway and train connections would all be closed in both directions between 0830 CET (0730 GMT) to around noon.

A spokesman for the Austrian police said cars would be halted in a line for the duration of the disposal. There is no alternative route available during the closure, he said.

The spokesman said the bomb had been found near the Italian town of Sterzing in November. Residents near the site will be evacuated during the operation.

The conflict between 1939 and 1945 continues to cast a shadow on Europe after more than 70 years as unexploded bombs dropped by airplanes from rival powers are discovered. In Germany, more than 2,000 tonnes of live bombs and munitions are found every year.

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