Europe

Secret room at the airport: 300 Nazi bombs discovered in Athens

314 bombs from World War II had to be defused. There were also kindergartens and schools on the site.

Greek army experts have defused 314 World War II bombs in an underground storage room at Athens airport, which has been closed since 2001.

According to information from the Athens newspaper Kathimerini, the bombs were located two meters underground and date back to the time of the German occupation in World War II.

Giannis Konstantatos, mayor of the region, expressed concern about the finds on Greek radio: “We only live by chance.” In fact, airport facilities stood above and next to the camp for eight decades and, after its closure, schools, kindergartens and, during the Olympic Games in Athens in 2004, various sports facilities.

A new district is to be created on the site

Konstantatos further explained that during its occupation of Greece from 1941 to 1944, the German Luftwaffe had stored the bombs in the old airport on the Athens coast. They were left behind in the hasty retreat from southeastern Europe because of the Red Army’s advance in the Balkans. “The bombs lay next to our houses for 80 years,” Konstantatos told Kathimerini.

A new district is currently being built on the approximately 620 hectare airport site on the Athens coast, including new hotels and numerous luxury residential complexes. However, according to Greek media, the possibility of more underground bombs is significantly hampering construction work.

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