The bomb went off as the machine lifted up earth and debris

A World War Two bomb has exploded at a construction site near a west German town, killing a man and injuring eight others, police say.

The explosion occurred after a digger accidentally struck the device during excavation work in Euskirchen in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia.


The machine’s operator died on the spot. Two of those hurt were critically wounded, the dpa news agency reports.

Police said the blast impact could be felt a kilometre (0.6miles) away.

The incident took place around 13.30 local time (12.30 GMT) in an industrial park on the edge of town.

The bomb blew up when it was disturbed by the digger, as the machine lifted up earth and debris.

The blast damaged nearby office buildings and cars. Police say the explosion also smashed the windows of some local shops and homes.

It was also felt in a 1-kilometre radius, smashing windows of local homes and shops

The BBC’s Damien McGuinness says unexploded bombs are still regularly being discovered in Germany, particularly in the industrial north-west of the country.

In the 1940s, allied bombers tried to cripple the Nazi war effort by bombing factories there.

But our correspondent says it is rare that anyone is killed or injured by a device going off unexpectedly. [/restrict]