a thousand unexploded bombs dating back to the Spanish Civil War are
found in various parts of the country every year, say police, but the
most dangerous ones are those kept in people's houses as
a bomb is found, Guardia Civil officers from the GEDEX explosives
expert unit blow them up in controlled conditions as a precaution,
and as yet no reports in recent times have been heard of injuries or
property damage in these cases.
in numerous cases, instead of advising the police, people who find
mortar grenades, projectiles or – on rarer occasions – aviation
bombs, take them home and keep them as 'souvenirs' or 'pieces of
is highly dangerous, because there is still every chance the bomb may
explode even though it remained undetected since the mid-to-late
1930s until found by the 'collector'.
because they are 70 or 80 years old does not mean they are no longer
hazardous, says the GEDEX squad – on the contrary, since their
built-in security devices have now failed over the passage of time.
recent incident in the town of San Martín de la Vega, in the greater
Madrid region, saw a resident suffer serious injuries after tampering
with an artillery projectile dating back from 1936 and which had been
kept by the victim as a 'collectors' item'.
'old and worn out' the explosive device found appears to be, they are
still every bit as dangerous as when they were first dropped or
launched, because they were 'designed to maim or kill', the bomb
findings of Civil War explosives are comparatively rare, in the event
of finding one, the person who sees it should call the emergency
services immediately and, if possible, mark its location with sticks
should never go near the bomb – keeping a distance of several
hundred metres if they can or as far away as possible, at least –
and certainly never touch it or tamper with it.
where the finder has had experience with deactivating bombs or knows
something about the theory of doing so, they should not attempt to do
anything with the artefact – nor should the person finding the
device listen to or heed any advice of this nature from bystanders
who claim to know about them.
members advise against keeping such artefacts or any parts of them as
memorabilia as this can result in serious and life-threatening injury