A 90-year-old German woman has caused a commotion after showing up at her local police station with a live explosive from World War II. The weapon had been sitting in her house for more than 75 years.
A 90-year-old woman sent a Leverkusen police station into lockdown after entering the building holding what was described as a Russian frag grenade from the Second World War. Unbeknownst to the pensioner, the device was live.
"My husband brought the grenade back from the war in 1943," police quoted the woman as saying. "It's been sitting on a desk at home ever since."
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The woman reportedly decided to hand the explosive over to officers on Wednesday morning, saying that after the death of her husband she saw no reason to keep it.
Police evacuated the station and blocked off nearby roads for about two hours while bomb disposal experts did their work.
Police described the device as a Soviet frag grenade, but signs point to it being of Italian origin, likely one of the Bomba 45 mortar shell models.
German authorities are no strangers to dealing with unexploded munitions, grenades and weapons from World War II. Thousands of bombs still lie beneath German cities and are regularly unearthed during construction work.
Leverkusen's police also issued a reminder to anyone else with such ordnances to call police and ask for specialists to come and dispose of them, rather than transporting them themselves.
nm/msh (AFP, dpa)