Yesterday, at 16.15 pm, the defusing operations of a military device found in the port area of the Sicilian capital were completed. The bomb squads of the Army made it shine with a controlled explosion carried out in a quarry in Torretta, far from the inhabited areas.
The American-made aircraft bomb was found during the demolition of a fort dating back to the Second World War on 21 August. The bomb remained hidden for over 70 years, thanks to the dense vegetation that over the years had covered the abandoned fort. Designed to destroy road communications installations and routes, the bomb, weighing 600 pounds (272 kg.), Contained 118 kg of high explosive.
The reclamation operations were carried out by Army specialists belonging to the 4th engineer regiment of the "Aosta" brigade.
All the preparatory activities for the defusing, the meetings and the planning of the neutralization of the bomb took place in agreement with the Municipality of Palermo, the Port Authority, the Regional Civil Protection, the Fire Brigade, under the coordination of the prefecture of Palermo.
By order of the prefecture and the Municipality of Palermo, about 8.000 citizens residing in the area at risk had to leave their homes from 6 in the morning, thus allowing the Army bomb squad to be able to take action without danger to the civilian population.
An "expansion chamber" was created for the defusing operations, inside which the bomb was placed, this allowed to reduce the danger radius.
The phases of neutralization of the bomb at the place of discovery lasted about 4 hours. Only once it was rendered inert was it transported to a quarry in Torretta, where it was made to shine with a controlled explosion.
Since the beginning of the year, approximately 1.510 bombs of different types have been destroyed by the Army in Sicily.