86yo mine found shrouded in mystery & vegetation off Swedish island
The Swedish made F31 mine was found on Sunday off the small island of Långgarn in the southern part of Stockholm’s archipelago. The potentially hazardous mine has been temporarily anchored in an attempt to stop it from floating away.
Roughly 20 inhabitants will have to be evacuated from the picturesque islet while military personnel tow the mine further out to sea in order to detonate it, according to police.
Manufactured in 1931, officials are stumped as to how the explosive ended up in the water in the first place. Speaking to The Local, Swedish Armed forces communications officer Mattias Robertson said it was also “difficult to say exactly when it was used.”
“We don't know if it would fire or if it was an exercise mine – it has been in the water for a long time and is coated with vegetation, so the markings can't be deciphered.”
Detonating decades-old bombs is not without its share of risk but Robertson said the armed forces are well equipped to deal with the task.
"Dealing with unexploded bombs always involved some risk, but it is not unusual for the Armed Forces to do these kind of things. The people taking care of the mine are experienced," he explained.