WWII bomb discovery halts Rotterdam construction project

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Construction of two residential towers at the Wilhelmina Pier in Rotterdam has been shut down as photography experts determined that bombs dating back from World War II remain hidden underground.

The bombs were discovered by chance after experts examined a set of photographs released by the British Royal Air Force. The photographs reveal images of the 1941 air raid in which eight explosions took place though eleven bombs were dropped.

Construction of the two towers, dubbed the “Boston” and “Seattle”, was halted when the experts made their conclusions. An investigation tasked with finding any unexploded ordinance at the construction site is expected to last for a minimum of two weeks, which could be extended if any bombs are found, a Rotterdam city spokesperson said.

"We cannot determined whether three of the bombs exploded. For that reason, we are still investigating whether there are bombs remaining in the ground," the spokesperson said to AD.nl.

"As long as nobody touches them, they can not explode,” the public relations representative said, in an effort to smooth over concerns held by area residents.

Skyscrapers surround the construction site, including De Rotterdam and New Orleans buildings. Barendrecht-based firm JP van Eesteren broke ground on the two new 23-story residential buildings earlier this year.