LIMBURG (Germany): A World War II-era bomb exploded in western Germany without an external trigger.
The crater created by the blast was mistaken by some residents as a meteor.
A loud explosion in a field startled residents in the town of Limburg in western Germany. The blast occurred in the middle of the night and was large enough to register a minor tremor of 1.7 on the Richter scale, according to local media.
No one was injured in the blast but it created a crater measuring 10 meters (33 feet) wide and 4 meters deep.
Bomb specialists from the state of Hesse determined on Monday with “a probability bordering on certainty” that it was a WWII-era unexploded bomb that caused the blast.
Prior to the news release, residents were puzzled and confused by the crater, with some online speculating that it had been caused by a meteorite.
But Rüdiger Jehn, of the European Space Agency, told German newspaper Frankfurter Neue Presse that this was false. “A great deal of heat is released during an asteroid impact,” the ESA expert said, adding that no evidence of heat or melting could be seen from the crater footage.
The real culprit was an aerial bomb, which was buried at a depth of at least 4 meters, weighed 250 kilograms (550 pounds) and had a chemical detonator, investigators said. Authorities confirmed that the bomb had exploded by itself, without any external trigger.