Two killed in WW1 shell explosion

A World War 1 shell has exploded, killing two construction workers in the Belgian town of Ypres nearly 100 years after the conflict began.

"It's a shell that exploded with four workers there, a conventional device from World War 1,'' Ypres police chief Georges Aeck said.

One man died instantly, the other on the way to the hospital, he said, adding that a further worker was in a critical state and the fourth in shock.

The four were behind a warehouse under construction when the shell exploded in circumstances that are under investigation.

Ypres was heavily bombarded during World War 1, when it was at the centre of fierce fighting between German and allied forces.

Belgium's military have removed or made safe some 629 tonnes of bombs, shells and other explosives in the past four years, mostly around the former World War 1 battle lines in western Flanders.

 

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