A man has discovered an American World War II hand grenade while picking mushrooms in a German forest.
The incident took place in the municipality of Gleichen, in the district of Goettingen, in the north-western German state of Lower Saxony.
The Goettingen police said in a statement on Friday, 14th October, that the man had come across the American-made fragmentation grenade from World War II while picking mushrooms in the ‘Eschenberg’ forest between the villages of Bremke and Appenrode.
The police added that the grenade was rusty and that the man alerted the authorities. They said: “Corrosively damaged, the World War II grenade lay in a remote wooded area between dense vegetation in the leafy forest floor.
“The man acted correctly, did not touch the dangerous find and immediately informed the police.”
The Goettingen police said that the grenade was then neutralised by experts, saying: “The officers in turn called the explosive ordnance disposal service (KBD). The site was cordoned off over a large area until the Hanoverian specialists arrived.
“The experts examined the hand grenade and finally blew it up in a controlled manner. No other ordnance was found during a search of the surrounding area.”
Thousands of tonnes of unexploded World War II bombs are still believed to be scattered across Germany, with locals regularly stumbling across them in the country’s forests and fields.
They are also often found during construction work in Germany’s cities.