Sunday, 22 October 2017

Poland: More Military Artefact Collectors are Killed

Since huge areas of the country were one large battlefield in 1914-20, 1939 and then 1944-5, there is a lot of buried military hardware in the fields and forests of Poland. There are a lot of collectors interested in finding it. Every year in Poland one or two metal detectorists are killed trying to dismantle unexploded ordnance instead of calling the sappers (who'll just blow up the item, making it uncollectable). Two military artefact collectors have died this weekend after putting an unexploded bomb on fire to 'warm it before disassembly' and it blew up... ('Fani militariów wrzucili niewybuch do ogniska. Zmarł drugi z poszkodowanych' 22.10.2017). The incident happened in Wola Górzańska (podkarpackie voivodship). A 44-year old man died at once, his metal detecting pal (aged 42, from Bydgoszcz) died in hospital this morning. They had found the object in the forest near the older man's home and took it back to the house and threw it in a fire 30m from the building. During a search of the dead men's homes, police found a number of artefacts coming from the Second World War, military equipment (dogtags, water canisters, helmets and bagnets), but also elements of weapons (shell cases and ammunition). Some of the latter were assessed as potentially being in a dangerous state and were taken away by sappers. Collecting such material is currently illegal in Poland.

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