Huffpost WorldPost

Children Find Live Bazooka During Easter Egg Hunt In Germany

Posted: Updated:
A U.S. soldier demonstrates the proper way to hold a bazooka, a launching tube used for antitank warfare, in Sept. 1943 at an unknown location.  (AP Photo/U.S. Army Signal Corps)
A U.S. soldier demonstrates the proper way to hold a bazooka, a launching tube used for antitank warfare, in Sept. 1943 at an unknown location. (AP Photo/U.S. Army Signal Corps)

Easter egg hunters in Somerset, England, were shocked on Sunday when a preschooler found a live hand grenade during his search. Now, reports have surfaced that children in Germany happened upon a World War II-era bazooka while on their own Easter egg hunt that day.

Police were called to a wooded area in the town of Holzminden in northern Germany on Sunday after a group of children discovered a rusty but apparently still functional bazooka under a pile of leaves, Spiegel Online International reports.

Officers cordoned off the area and took the weapon to a facility where they could destroy it in a controlled setting, according to Spiegel Online.

The bazooka is one of thousands of weapons left over from World War II that remain around Germany.

In a separate article about the bomb hunting business in Germany, Hans-Georg Carls, a private detective and geographer who tracks bombs with aerial photography, told reporters that debris removal specialists recover about 20,000 tons of material left over from the war every year.

Dozens of people have been killed after stepping on bombs that failed to explode. In Berlin alone, there are an estimated 15,000 duds yet to be recovered in and around the city, according to the paper.

Leftover artillery from the war has proven dangerous in other countries as well. In 2005, the Japanese army launched a large-scale effort to recover and safely destroy 700,000 artillery shells that troops left in northeast China during the war, some of which had killed schoolchildren in the area.

And in 2009, a mining company in Australia found 144 undetonated shells on a site believed to be a weapons facility used by U.S. troops during the war, according to the nonprofit Nuclear Threat Initiative. Australia's Defense Department later safely destroyed the shells.