Replacing a pipe of the heating pipeline in the north-west of Moscow ended with the discovery of a record amount of artillery shells. Sappers uncovered over 900 unexploded WWII bombs. The people living in neighboring apartment building were evacuated, the traffic was stopped.
Such findings are frequent for Moscow, but the arsenal discovered on March 17 broke all records, RIA Novosti reports.
Defense ministry officials said that the shells, which were supposed to be delivered to a battlefield during the defense of Moscow in 1941, could be abandoned during an air raid of the German aviation.
“There were 916 shells uncovered in total. Detonators were found with 40 of the found shells. They are mostly 76-millimeter shells, but there were also 122-mm and 152 mm shells,” an official of the Moscow EMERCOM said.
The finding became the news of the day in Russia yesterday. All the bombs were taken out of Moscow on seven KamAZ trucks, Pravda.Ru reports.
The arsenal was found on Wednesday morning during utilities maintenance work, including the replacement of underground water pipes on Marshall Zhukov Prospekt in the north-west of Moscow. It was originally reported that about 100 shells were uncovered, but their amount was growing and eventually increased nearly ten times.
About 100 people were evacuated from the apartment buildings on the street: 85 adults and 11 children.
All the shells were resting in a large pit. No traces of an ammunition depot were found on the site, officials said.
The bombs were made 65-69 years ago. A defense ministry official said that the arsenal could belong to the Soviet troops which defended Moscow against Nazis in the winter of 1941.
Specialists uncover about 200-300 unexploded bombs of World War II era in Moscow every year. Most often, the bombs are found in the north and in the north-west of Moscow.
“The site, where the artillery shells were discovered, was a near-front line. It was apparently a temporal depot, from where the shells were taken to front defense lines,” a defense ministry official said.