Japan shut down Sendai Airport in the northeast last night after construction workers found an undetonated bomb believed to be from World War II near a runway. A total of 92 domestic and international flights were canceled after the 250-kilogram (550-pound) explosive was found around 10:15 p.m. yesterday by workers at the southern end of one of two runways, according to a statement from Sendai Airport authorities.
“Most of the unexploded bombs found were from the U.S. air raids or left by the Japanese military during World War II,” said Tomohiro Nozawa, a spokesman from the Japan Ground Self-Defense Forces. The ministry has special teams throughout the country to dispose of the explosives, he said.
Sendai is undergoing repairs after it was flooded in the March 11, 2011, record earthquake and tsunami. Japan’s Ministry of Defense handled 1,578 incidents involving bombs in the fiscal year ended March 2012, amounting to 38.2 tons of explosives, according to the government. Japan Airlines, All Nippon Airways, Air China, China Southern Airlines, Asiana Airlines and Japan’s Airdo serve Sendai, which was built by the Imperial Japanese Army in 1940 to serve a flight school.
By Kiyotaka Matsuda and Marco Lui, Bloomberg