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WWI shell kills two near Ypres, Belgium

© A German barrage at Ypres, Col. George Nasmith via Wikipedia

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-03-19

Two construction workers were killed Wednesday after a World War I shell exploded near the Belgian town of Ypres, site of some of the bloodiest battles in the conflict.

Two other men were hurt, one left fighting for his life, after they disturbed the shell as they worked near the Ypres canal.

The circumstances were unclear because there was apparently no digging at the site, which is the usual cause of such accidents, a spokesman for the Ypres prosecutor’s office told VRT network.

The Western Front trenches ran just outside Ypres, a small medieval town that was completely destroyed in the war that was fought from 1914 to 1918.

Every year the battlefields in western Belgium and France throw up hundreds of unexploded ordnance from the war.

Most are destroyed without incident by a special bomb squads. In a nearby city, the Belgian army was completing the destruction of over 800 gas canisters.

The Flanders battlefields cover dozens of cities where allies clashed with German forces for most of the war.

Date created : 2014-03-19

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