Japanese Airport Reopens After Bomb Scare

The 550-pound bomb, thought to be a dud, is believed to have been dropped from U.S. forces during the Second World War.

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REUTERS

The plane shown is the first international flight to depart from Sendai Airport since it was devastated by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami on June 23, 2011.

An undetonated bomb was found Tuesday near a runway at a northern Japanese airport. The 550-pound bomb, thought to be a dud, is believed to have been dropped from U.S. forces during the Second World War. The device still appears to have a working detonator, so officials are proceeding with caution.

Sendai Airport canceled all of its 92 domestic and international flights on Tuesday. The airport reopened Wednesday, but not before building a 10-foot high concrete wall to prevent the bomb from being triggered. While experts figure out how to discard or safely detonate the bomb, authorities have re-directed all traffic to the main runway.

“The work to defuse it will start after we discuss the matter with local municipalities and residents,” the transport ministry official told the AFP. According to the Associated Press, it could take up to a week after that “to actually dispose of it or erect barriers to prepare the site for a controlled detonation.”

The airport, which is a hub for northern Japan, was closed for months last year after the March 11 tsunami devastated the region.

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