The local authorities of a small village in northern France were forced to evacuate the entire population on Tuesday for four days to allow deminers to extract 1,500 shells dating from the First World War.
The 550 inhabitants of Levergies, in the Aisne, had to leave their homes, where an imposing security device was put in place to allow the artificers and deminers to remove the 28 tons of ammunition buried under the earth, discovered on the spot at the occasion of road works last June, report the media of the Hexagon.
The shells “are about 2 meters deep, stacked on top of each other,” Mayor Bernard Nuttens told the continuous news channel Bfmtv.
“That’s what represents the danger. If a shell explodes, the whole pile explodes, ”he said, which explains the caution adopted by the authorities and specialists, with the establishment of a security perimeter of 800 meters.
According to media reports, some residents fear their homes will be burgled during the four days of absence. To reassure them, the authorities have mobilized 70 gendarmes who will roam the village, supported by the overflight of three drones.
The refractories, who will not leave their homes within the allotted time, risk being placed in police custody, add the media.
Once recovered, the shells will be conveyed to the Sissonne military camp, about sixty kilometers south of Levergies, where they will finally be destroyed, more than a hundred years after the “race to the sea”, the battle of the Somme. and the other fights that made them rain.
SL (with MAP)