Funeral postponed after WWI shell found in grave

The burial of resident of the West Flemish municipality of Avelgem was cancelled on Saturday after grave diggers unearthed a World War I shell in what is to be the grave. The Mayor of Avelgem Lieven Vantieghem (Christian democrat) ordered the immediate closure of the municipal cemetery for safety reason. The Mayor contacted the bomb disposal service DOVO on Monday and a team of bomb disposal experts was dispatched to remove the shell.

Despite the actual burial not being able to take place, the funeral service was held in the local church.

The bomb disposal service DOVO is responsible for the removal and safe disposal of explosives such as shells. Dovo uses a facility in the West Flemish village of Poelkapelle.

Normally, the bomb disposal service is informed immediately when a shell is unearthed. However, neither the municipal authorities in Avelgem nor the Local Police Service did so. It wasn’t until Monday that the Mayor contacted DOVO.

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