DANISH fishermen trawling in the Baltic Sea caught more than they bargained for when they reeled in an unexploded mustard gas bomb from World War Two.
The fishing cutter caught the German ordnance in the sea around the island of Bornholm, which lies just south of Sweden, the Bornholm Tidende news website reports.
A navy bomb disposal team met the boat as it docked in the harbour in the town of Nexo, after the crew called ahead to report what they had on board.
The bomb, measuring about 90cm long, was then given a thorough cleaning by the Danish Emergency Management Agency (DEMA), in case any of the mustard gas had escaped.
‘The bomb was well preserved,’ said DEMA spokesman Michael Gronbech-Dam.
The Baltic Sea is a well known burial ground for unexploded WW2 bombs. In 2013, Spiegel Online reported that tens of millions of leftover munitions – including detonators and shells – lie on the North and Baltic Sea beds, and high-risk areas are marked on nautical charts.
But it’s a lucrative fishing area, and in the past fishermen have been injured after coming into contact with mustard gas from corroding bombs. In 1984, more than 30 fishing boats were contaminated in the space of three months, and a dozen fishermen suffered burns.