Soliders and other military types, on duty, whether on training exercises, or in active zones are banned from waerning such devices? Please don't tell me they also take their personnal mobile phones along with them for the ride too?
People wearing Strava-enabled fitness trackers appear to have been poking around a Thames shipwreck containing nearly 1,500 tonnes of explosives from the Second World War. In addition, other fitness fanatics appear to have been wandering around military training sites – including danger areas used for live-fire tank and …
Please don't tell me they also take their personnal mobile phones along with them for the ride too?
Cast your mind back to the Iraq war and you may recall that soldiers' personal mobiles were the primary form of communication between many units because the newly supplied radio gear was so naff. The partial Bowman system first issued to infantry squads was quickly nicknamed 'Better Off With Map And Nokia'.
> 'Better Off With Map And Nokia'.
> At least back then you could go more than 1/2 a day before the battery ran out!
And if it did run out, you could unclip the back and put your spare battery in. You didn't even need some weirdly shaped screwdriver and plastic lever and half a dozen highly carcinogenic chemicals on hand to unglue the old one.
I suspect it's not so much "Out of sight, out of mind", more that it's 1,500 tonnes of potentially unstable explosive that is sited near one of the most densely populated parts of the UK. There is also fact it it sitting on some of the busiest shipping lanes in the world, and that if it should detonate, it's likely to restrict access to Tilbury Docks (one of the 3 main container ports for the UK).
the gas terminal
even a relatively small detonation, flinging relatively few viable explosives would be enough to create some fireworks. It would also not be entirely clear how long you had to wait before you consider that any more would not be dislodged after being destabilised by the initial ignition.
Only needs one ship with engine failure to bash it, or a sudden, significant structural failure (not unlikely either), or someone, gosh, attempting to do it deliberately.
There are a few tonnes of WW1 explosives kept nicely out of sight underground too, that were never removed or exploded (look it up) but they are not near said, shipping lanes, gas terminals, docks etc.
Southend's population is around 175,000. I live a few yards from the estuary on the fringes of the predicted explosion. We would certainly lose our windows to the air blast (I think most houses in town would) and would definitely be swamped by the tidal wave. There is the possibility of further smaller explosions - gas mains, boilers etc and whether there would be the wherewithal to fight these fires. Local emergency services would struggle to cope. The power would likely be out for days. Sheeness would get it even worse.
Then there the possibility of the oil refinery going up, what would happen to any container ships heading up and down the estuary channel to Tilbury Docks and what the long-term economic impact would be in the aftermath.
Nobody wants to play Jenga with the wreck but irresponsible thrill-seekers who want bragging rights do go out to it. They are gambling with more lives than just their own.
I know I'd heard of an ship carrying ordinance going bang in Canada. A little searching turned up this.
I hear rumors the anchor was found miles away but the article doesn't specify other than "scattered fragments of Mont-Blanc for kilometres".
In memory of those affected. PP
These bombs were loaded with TNT. They could be transported fused because the design included a propeller mechanism at the front which only screwed the fuse into position as the bombs fell from an aircraft.
Would (has?) water movement from tides and currents also activate the "propellors"?
I guess they bombs were in boxes to avoid the propeller being free to turn. But if they were wood-made, they will have decayed. Yet, encrustations may block the propeller. But you can't be sure about what happened and in what state they are without actually looking at them closely... and while TNT is quite stable until forcibly activated, other things may not.
I guess they bombs were in boxes to avoid the propeller being free to turn. But if they were wood-made, they will have decayed.
Possibly not as decayed as you might expect. I think that so long as the wood is constantly submerged it actually fares quite well - it's when it keeps getting wet then exposed to air that the rot really sets in
Not quite. I think it sits on some lumpy bits, and the tide sluicing round has a habit of moving sand and mud. On top of that, time and corrosion are doing their thing so the wreck is slowly falling to bits.
Government reports here:
Well, most of those fuses have a safety pin that has to be pulled (or rusted away) which leads to the fuses themselves having rusted cases and parts so probable that the activating mechanism is rusted into place or has pretty much disintegrated since I doubt they used non-ferrous metals or stainless steel.
Surely their training included removal from their person of anything which has even the slightest and remotest possibility of setting off an explosive? If I go onto certain sites, I have to hand over anything with a battery, transmitter, source of ignition before entering. I'm reasonably confident that bomb disposal peeps are even more aware and strict with this procedure.
I have no doubt orders are flying all over the world now with regard to any devices personal may have to STOP USING THEM NOW!!! while command figures out what to do about it. At the very least, military joggers should be turning off their devices and changing their routes and times with immediate effect.
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