Shell explosion leaves two dead in Belgium

Brussels, March 20: Two workers were killed and one person was critically injured Wednesday when a World War I shell exploded during a construction work in an industrial area in Belgium, defence authorities said.

The incident occurred in Ypres region, the last position of the British, French and Belgian armies in Belgium against the advancing Germans during the WWI, Xinhua reported.

It is also the site of the first military use of chemical weapons by humanity, which took place in 1917.

In late February, the Service of removal and destruction of explosive devices (SEDEE) of the Belgian Defence Department began an operation to neutralise many explosives buried in this part of the province of West Flanders near the French border.

Until Wednesday, deminers have unearthed 815 explosive devices.

According to the Belgian Defence Department, about 30 percent of more than half a billion shots have never exploded and continue to threaten the lives of local people.