Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Two-ton Soviet made torpedo lost in the end of 1970s has been discovered in Sevastopol.

Mar 24, 2010 Kiev (EarthTime news agency) Bomb disposal technicians in a Ukrainian port city disabled a long-lost two-ton Soviet-era torpedo, officials from the Ministry of Emergency Situations (MES) said Wednesday. Divers employed by a local film company discovered the weapon at the bottom of a harbour, some 20 metres off the shore of Balaclava, a port on Ukraine's Black Sea coast. MES workers raised the torpedo from a depth of approximately 14 metres, towed it out to open water, and sank it again before setting off a detonator to destroy it. Police evacuated local businesses and residences prior to the blast. No injuries were reported. Balaclava is the site of a massive Soviet-era submarine base abandoned after the end of the Cold War. The torpedo, a 533mm anti-ship weapon, was likely lost by a Soviet submarine during a training exercise, said Oleh Piskorsky, an MES spokesman. Discovery of buried or otherwise unaccounted-for military ordnance is a routine event in Ukraine, the scene of four major wars in the first half of the 20th century, and a major centre for Soviet military bases from 1945-1989. Ukraine's Crimea peninsula, particularly near the cities Balaclava and Sevastopol, saw intense fighting during World War II. MES bomb squads working in the Sevastopol region have, during the first three months of 2010, defused more than 600 discovered artillery shells, mortar rounds, bombs, and artillery rockets, Piskorsky said.