Levergies, in the Aisne will be at a standstill for a shell evacuation

Keystone-France via Getty Images

Herd of cows crossing an abandoned shell depot near Isigny, Normandy, France, circa 1940.

HISTORY – The 550 inhabitants of Levergies (Aisne) will be evacuated from their homes during the day from Tuesday 12 to Friday 15 October for an operation to evacuate a depot of around 1,500 shells from the First World War.

This evacuation “as well as the stoppage of all commercial and traffic activity” should allow “the neutralization and removal of shells by the demining services to the destruction site”, the prefecture said in a statement.

An 800-meter security perimeter around the 28-ton shell depot will be completely evacuated. The inhabitants of the town will therefore have to leave their homes before 8:30 a.m. and will be able to return to their homes after 4:30 p.m., the prefecture said.

“If one explodes, everything explodes”

The operation will mobilize “more than 100 state and local government personnel”, according to the prefecture, including around fifteen deminers, according to the mayor of the town, Bernard Nuttens. “About ten years ago, already 16 tons of shells” had been evacuated from the town, “but they were a little scattered, there they are stacked like cigarettes, if an explode, everything explodes”, a- he explained to AFP.

These “German shells, buried to a depth of five meters”, were “discovered in a field located 300 meters as the crow flies from the center of the village during pyrotechnic excavations to dig an access path to future wind turbines, ”said the city councilor. They must be sent for “destruction to the Sissonne military camp”, 80km away.

A dozen residents without an accommodation solution will be accommodated during the day in a nearby nursing home, while the 98 pupils of the village primary school will be accommodated in a college in the locality near Fresnoy le Grand.

See also on The HuffPost: In Vichy, the painful work of memory on the war of 39-45

Source: Le Huffington Post by www.huffingtonpost.fr.

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