Amsterdam airport part closed by WWII bomb scare

AMSTERDAM Wed Aug 29, 2012 8:20am EDT

Sign shows direction to the departure of Alitalia and Iberia flights at Amsterdam Schiphol airport on May 12, 1998. REUTERS/Str Old

Sign shows direction to the departure of Alitalia and Iberia flights at Amsterdam Schiphol airport on May 12, 1998.

Credit: Reuters/Str Old

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Authorities evacuated parts of Amsterdam's Schiphol airport on Wednesday after workers found an unexploded World War Two bomb, forcing airlines to delay and cancel some flights.

The German bomb was discovered buried underground near the transport hub's busy Terminal C, which handles flights to most major European destinations, the Dutch Defence Ministry said in a statement.

Schiphol cleared and closed Terminal C, parts of Terminal D and one landing strip, an airport spokeswoman said.

A handful of European flights were canceled, while several dozen were delayed, she added.

The 500kg explosive, uncovered during construction work, would be taken to a safe location and dismantled, the ministry said.

Schiphol was a military airport during World War Two. It was bombed both by the Germans at the start of the conflict and by Allied forces during the fighting.

Flights by airline KLM, which is part of Franco-Dutch group Air France KLM and uses Schiphol as its main hub, were affected, Schiphol's website showed.

Schiphol is Europe's fifth busiest airport and handled about 45 million passengers in 2010.

It is owned by the Dutch state, the cities of Amsterdam and Rotterdam, and French airports operator Aeroports de Paris.

(Editing by Andrew Heavens)

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