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Detonation experts say shells from World War One along the French countryside could still explode -- even one hundred years ...
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Detonation experts say shells from World War One along the French countryside could still explode -- even one hundred years later. (SOUNDBITE) (French) BOMB CLEARANCE SPECIALIST GUY MOMPER SAYING: "If you have a million shells falling -- besides all those that fell after -- the soil's upheaval necessarily buried a large part of those which did not explode." They say it could take one hundred years or more to clear this area in northeastern France. Locals have come across countless shells themselves. (SOUNDBITE) (French) RESIDENT OF SAMOGNEUX ROLAND DABIT SAYING: "This is nothing, this is nothing. I can't tell you how many I find sometimes. Even in the forest. How many are there in the forest? How many? Believe me when we go mushroom picking, I see a hundred shells." The Metz center specializes in the removal and detonation shells, grenades and mortars from a century ago. (NAT SOUND OF BLAST) In 2007, two experts were killed while transporting explosives from the First World War. Each year, the center collects some 40 tons of ammunition.