A British Mk13 1,000 pound (453kg) bomb was discovered by construction workers excavating the land behind a small industrial facility near Mt. Goles, occupied Kosovo. The site was home to Yugoslavian ammunition bunkers during the NATO /Albanian joint aggression in 1999.
It is most likely that the unexploded bomb was purposely dropped during the 1999 NATO bombing campaign, according to Cpt. Frank Pangelinan, commander of the 217th Explosive Ordnance Company, deployed to Kosovo as part of Multinational Battle Group- East.
Kosovo is considered to be one of the most heavily mined regions in the world. After the last war, many munitions were not accounted for, some were left in caches, bunkers, or buried underground.
Excavators doing work near a small industrial facility near Mt. Goles found the bomb while using a front loader to clear the earth. Thinking it was a large rock, they struck the bomb twice while trying to break it apart. They ended up moving it 250 meters behind the facility, before calling it in to the authorities.
A team from the 217th responded from Camp Bondsteel. They met up with the Kosovo Security Forces EOD team and received their briefing from the Kosovo Police, who had secured the area around the found unexploded ordnance.
Sgt. Valeriy Didychenko is an EOD technician deployed with the California National Guard unit in support of NATO’s KFOR mission. He explained the importance of responding to reports quickly.
“Our time from getting the call to leaving the base is never longer than 30 minutes,” he said. “It is always important because you don’t know how what condition the UXO is in is out there. It is always a danger. Especially if it is located near buildings, or power lines, or near main water lines. I mean, wind can set off some of these things. So it is very important that we respond to these things, and do so quickly.”