die-phalanx/iStock(ROME) — All flights into Rome’s secondary international airport, Ciampino, were suspended on Thursday after construction workers doing maintenance work on a tarmac uncovered three World War II bombs beneath the asphalt, according to local officials and numerous local news reports and video.
The aviation authority, ADR, ordered the evacuation of the terminal and the suspension of all flights while bomb control experts worked to remove the explosives, according to reports.
Italian television channel, TG2, said the bombs were of German origin. The Italian Ministry of Defense tweeted photos showing military experts examining the bombs.
Specialisti del 6° Reggimento Genio @Esercito sono al lavoro in questo momento per disinnescare gli ordigni della seconda guerra mondiale del peso complessivo di 150 kg per un totale di 75 kg di esplosivo #artificieri pic.twitter.com/Fz4Zl6G6r7
— Ministero Difesa (@MinisteroDifesa) February 7, 2019
Rome was bombed more than 1,100 times in 1943 by Allied forces, and again by retreating Nazi forces in 1944, according to author H.D. Lytton in "Bombing Policy in the Rome and Pre-Normandy Invasion Aerial Campaigns of World War II," a 1983 article in Military Affairs, the journal of the American Military Institute.
Passengers and airport workers that had been evacuated and were waiting outside the airport said there had been no panic when they were told to leave.
"I was eating my lunch inside the main building when the restaurant manager said everyone had to leave," Donato Eramo, a rescue helicopter technician at the airport, told The Local.
The airport is expected to open again on Thursday afternoon. Authorities are encouraging passengers to consult airline websites about delays.
Ciampino airport is the base for most low-cost airlines that serve Rome, as well as many private jets.
Desk Aeronautico, a portal used by Italian pilots that shares government regulations and navigation news, posted a map of the airport showing how it was affected.
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