Greek Army Specialists Safely Demolish Unexploded WWII Bomb in Athens

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ATHENS, Greece - In a successful operation on Thursday, Greek army specialists destroyed an unexploded World War II bomb that was discovered during construction work on a large-scale urban development project in a coastal area south of Athens.

Weighing 500 pounds, the bomb was safely demolished without detonation after an evacuation was carried out in nearby apartment blocks and traffic was halted for over two hours as a precautionary measure.

The 226 kg bomb was found during construction work at the old Elliniko airport, the site of a major property development project on Wednesday.

The Ellinikon sea side development project, scheduled for completion in 2026, aims to transform the seaside Glyfada area south of the capital into a vibrant hub featuring a park, shopping malls, hotels, a casino, and multiple leisure facilities.

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Greek Army Specialists Safely Demolish Unexploded WWII Bomb in Athens 1

During the World War II, the area of Glyfada was reportedly often the target of bombing by German and Italian aircraft, as the airport of Hassani – as the area was then called- operated in the area.

The target of the bombers was also the beach of Asteras Glyfada. In contrast, the Gulf area was spared as it was used by the Germans to hide vehicles and ammunition.

Glyfada Mayor Giorgos Papanikolaou expressed his appreciation for the collaboration between various agencies involved in the operation, including the specialized army unit, fire department, and traffic police.

Papanikolaou mentioned that as excavation work progresses further, there remains the possibility of additional unexploded ordnance being discovered.

The chosen development site was previously Athens' international airport, which operated until 2001 before being relocated. Additionally, during the Athens Olympics in 2004, the site hosted several sporting venues. It also briefly served as a temporary camp for asylum seekers during the refugee crisis in 2015-16.

The safe disposal of the WWII bomb highlights the importance of diligent excavation work and the cooperation between authorities to ensure the safety of the community amid ambitious urban development projects.

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