Residents of Vallø in Tønsberg were under evacuation orders on Friday after another non-detonated bomb from World War II was found near an old refinery that was the allies’ target just before the war ended. A funeral planned at the nearby Vallø church also had to be moved.
Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reported that military bomb experts were at the site to handle the potentially dangerous 250 kilos of explosives in the US-produced bomb. It was found Thursday during clean-up operations at the refinery site.
“It’s been lying there safely up to now, and that’s why we didn’t start evacuating yesterday (Thursday),” Frank Gran of the Tønsberg police told NRK. Residents of Vallø, located on a peninsula extending into the Oslo Fjord east of the city in Vestfold County, were expected to evacuated until experts had decided what to do with the bomb. One option was to detonate it under water.
It fell during a massive allied bombing raid led by British forces keen to render the refinery, which was under the control of Nazi German occupying forces at the time, inoperable. NRK reported that more than 300 bombs were dropped over Vallø on April 25, 1945, killing 53 Norwegians and an unknown number of German soldiers and Russian prisoners of war who were being held in the area. The war ended just two weeks later, and NRK reported that debate flew after the attack whether it was necessary, not least given its collateral damage.