Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Mine cleaning operation in the Inkerman suburb of Sevastopol is under progress

An unexampled mine cleaning operation has started in Sevastopol suburb Inkerman famous first of all by its wine-cellars.

Such unique operation has not been carried out before. The main ammunition depot is located on the depth of about 30 meters in adits dug out in the time of WWI and then blown up soon after the beginning of WWII . Many experienced mine-rescue crews are engaged in lifting highly explosive shells on the surface.

Soon after the beginning of German invasion Inkerman adits were turned into the real underground city with military plants, hospitals, schools, kindergartens and of course huge ammunition depot. Almost all shells including shells of unknown system are in the perfect shape despite the fact that they have been remained in the ground for many decades. During all these years local inhabitants were living literally on the powder barrel. Experts from the Ukrainian Ministry for Civil Defence, Emergencies and Elimination of Consequences of Natural Disasters estimate the total weight of explosive materials at a few hundred tons. It will take about 500 freight cars to remove this extremely dangerous cargo from the Inkerman suburb that attracts thousands tourists from all over the world.
Local authorities are concerned about numerous bore pits dug out by so-called black archeologists who search for nonferrous metal and whom carelessness could cause unpredictable consequences.
Each day only about ten shells are demined. Mostly they are those that were scattered around by monstrous power air-blast when Sevastopol defenders have been setting off bombs in their underground city before to leave it on July 4, 1942. An access to the main depot is still blocked by numerous obstructions. Many hold that this mine cleaning operation will last years.