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article imageJapan's Sendai Airport closes, workers find unexploded WWII bomb

By Leigh Goessl     Oct 30, 2012 in World
Sendai - A major airport in Japan closed today after construction workers found what is believed to be a WWII-era bomb that had not been detonated.
Note: This story has been updated below.
According to Yahoo! News, Japan's Sendai Airport closed after construction workers had found a suspected unexploded WWII ordnance near one of the airport's runways.
The airport made an announcement on its website that the facility would be closed and all flights canceled for Tues., Oct. 30.
When construction workers stumbled upon the 550-pound (250-kilogram) American-made bomb, it was determined to be a rusty "dud". The bomb's rusty condition makes it prone to detonation when moved, although this is rare, reported Japan Daily Press.
Officials believe the 110 centimeters-long and 35-centimeters-in-diameter bomb was dropped during WWII. ABC News reported Japanese military are expected to dispose of the bomb.
If officials decide to detonate the bomb, this may lead to necessary evacuation in the area. Currently, authorities are evaluating the best way to dispose of the bomb.
At this time, plans are to dispose of the bomb tomorrow, however, it is not clear yet if the airport would reopen on Wednesday, reported Stars and Stripes.
It is not uncommon to find unexploded ordnance in Japan and throughout Europe. Government officials say Japan had 1,578 discovered bomb incidents by the close of the fiscal year ended March 2012. Just last week a bomb was defused in Tokyo.
“Most of the unexploded bombs found were from the U.S. air raids or left by the Japanese military during World War II,” said Tomohiro Nozawa, a spokesman from the Ground Self-Defense Forces, reported Business Week.
Sendai Airport is located in northern Japan and is a major hub for the region. The airport had sustained a lot of damage during the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami and is still being repaired.
Update Oct. 31: The airport has resumed operations. Officials have not yet removed the bomb as they are still determining the best approach, however, they have temporarily encased the bomb with hundreds of sand bags and concrete to create an enclosure, reported Japan Daily Press.
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