Stuttgart, Germany U.S. Army officials confirmed that five construction workers were hospitalized recently after an unexploded WWII-era phosphorus bomb was accidentally struck by a backhoe at Patch Barracks, home to U.S. European Command headquarters. Investigators speculate that the impact of the backhoe resulted in the breaching of the munition casing exposing the WP filler to air.
According to a U.S Army spokesperson, John Campbell, the workers exposed to the fumes of burning WP were taken to a local hospital for observation. "There is no threat to Patch Barracks or the local community, but residents are asked to avoid the construction site out of an abundance of caution," he said.
The incident occurred near Floridastrasse, where EUCOM's top Generals reside. The munition was struck while workers were making repairs to the post's sewer system. A German EOD team responded to safely remove the bomb.
An industrial hub, Stuttgart was heavily bombed during the war. In recent years, other UXO have been uncovered at or near Army facilities in the Stuttgart area.