March 19, 2014 / 5:10 PM / 4 years ago

World War One shell kills two workers in Belgium's Ypres

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - A World War One shell exploded and killed two construction workers in the Belgian town of Ypres on Wednesday, nearly 100 years after the conflict began.

“It’s a shell that exploded with four workers there, a conventional device from World War One. One died instantly, another on the way to the hospital,” said Ypres police chief Georges Aeck, adding a further worker was in a critical state and the fourth in shock.

The four were behind a warehouse under construction when the shell exploded in circumstances that are under investigation.

Ypres was heavily bombarded during World War One, when it was at the center of fierce fighting between German and allied forces.

Belgium’s military have removed or made safe some 629 tons of bombs, shells and other explosives in the past four years, mostly around the former World War One battle lines in western Flanders.

Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop; editing by Andrew Roche

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