German airport closed after live mortar shell found in tourist’s backpack

Munich Airport was briefly evacuated Friday after authorities discovered a live mortar shell in a traveler’s backpack. The explosive device was …

Munich Airport was briefly evacuated Friday after authorities discovered a live mortar shell in a traveler’s backpack.

The explosive device was first found during a security check when the man was trying to catch a flight.

The discovery led to an immediate closure of parts of the airport before specialists could safely remove and destroy the live ammunition.

The 28-year-old man told police he found the shell while hiking in Switzerland and forgot it was in his pocket.

He now likely faces criminal charges for violating aviation safety and explosives laws and will have to pay for the cost of the police operation.

It is unclear whether the operator of Germany’s second-largest airport, Munich, will also sue the man for damages, German news agency DPA reported.

Meanwhile, in neighboring Austria, a 59-year-old man had died after a piece of ammunition exploded on the edge of a small lake.

A spokesman for the Carinthian regional police said the man had been handling the ammunition on the shore of Lake Ossiach in southern Austria early Friday when it exploded, killing him.

It was not immediately clear what type of ammunition it was, but authorities suspect it was a relic from World War II.

Police spokesman Dominik Sodamin told The Associated Press that large amounts of munitions were dumped in Austrian lakes at the end of World War II, but they usually don’t pose much of a risk to swimmers and other lake users.

Duds from the war sometimes turn up in Britain, Poland, Germany and other countries, where explosives specialists are working to remove them.

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