Breaking: Berlin's Tegel Airport Shut Down Because of WWII-Era Bomb
Of all the ways that an airport can get shut down these days - over-affectionate paramours, genuine security threats, and so on - what just happened at Berlin's Tegel has to be among the strangest. Local media is reporting that hundreds of passengers were evacuated and all flights suspended from Germany's main international airport, after a World War II-era bomb was uncovered by construction workers.
The unexploded British bomb is estimated to have weighed a quarter ton, and specialists had to be called in from the Berlin police department to defuse it. In the meantime German authorities shut down the entire airport, going so far as to close local road access. After a couple hours the bomb was successfully defused and the airport reopened. Final tally for the afternoon: 40 to 50 flights disrupted, dozens of planes diverted to nearby Schoenefeld airport, and what we can only imagine was a bevy of frustrated passengers.
This kind of thing happens with surprising regularity in Germany and specifically in Berlin, where just yesterday a bomb was found and dismantled near a light-rail station. It has to be the most frustrating travel situation ever: you really want to lash out at someone or something for ruining your entire day, but really there's just this gigantic half-century old bomb that has to be defused so that's what happens.
All that said, the sooner Germany gets around to completing Berlin's newest airport the better. Nothing like building from the ground up on a completely razed lot to provide that heartening "well, there are probably no left over bombs here" feeling.
[Photo: Ralf Roletschek / Wiki Commons]
· Main Berlin airport closed after WWII bomb found [Reuters]
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· Airport News [Jaunted]