A bomb defused on Lake Garda

(To Army Majority State)

In recent days, the bomb squads of the Italian Army and the divers of the Underwater Operations Group ("GOS") of the Underwater Command and Incursors (COMSUBIN) of the Navy, have intervened at the island of Trimelone in the municipality of Brenzone sul Garda (VR) to reclaim a dangerous remnant of war dating back to the Second World War.

The bomb, a US-made aircraft bomb weighing 500 pounds (227 kg) with high explosive potential, was accidentally found in the waters of Lake Garda at a depth of about forty meters, and promptly placed in safety by a team of specialists from the SDAI (Demining Defense Antimezzi Insidiosi) nucleus of the Navy with the help of personnel from the 8th “Folgore” Paratrooper Engineers Regiment of the Italian Army.

The delicate reclamation operations, coordinated by the prefecture of Verona and the Northern Operational Forces Command of Padua, began on Wednesday 13 October 2021 at 09:00 following the completion of the evacuation procedures which involved over 300 residents inside the 'evacuation area (826 meters from the clearing site identified near the island of Trimelone). Subsequently, the Army sappers first placed the bomb brought to the surface by the Navy divers on the island and then defused it (removing the sensitive devices) and moved it to the mainland with the help of a military ferry "PGM" (Ponte Motorized float) of the 2nd engineer bridge regiment. The operations ended after having transported the now harmless device to the Boscomantico airport in the municipality of Verona where the next day the bomb squads of the “Folgore” parachute brigade made it shine safely.

To guarantee the maximum safety framework, the engineers of the Engineering Department have designed and built protection structures to mitigate the effects of a possible accidental explosion. Also for the aforementioned activity, preparatory to the defusing operations, the contribution of the 2nd bridge engineer was fundamental, who allowed the transport of vehicles and materials to the island with his PGM ferry. In fact, the identification of the island of Trimelone as a site for delicate defusing operations made it possible to significantly contain the inconvenience for the population of the area at risk. This operation is in fact a unique event due to the particular environmental context and the simultaneous involvement of various specialized defense structures.

The discovery of unexploded war devices in Italy is still a frequent phenomenon today, more than seventy years after the end of the Second World War. In fact, every year there are thousands of interventions by the Army engineering units for the findings on the ground and by the Navy for interventions in water (rivers, lakes, sea).