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Flights canceled at Japanese airport after unexploded shell discovered

An aerial view of Sendai airport is shown after clean-up operations following the tsunami on April 1, 2011.

Story highlights

  • Construction workers unearthed the shell buried near a taxiway
  • All 92 flights in and out of the airport have been canceled Tuesday
  • Authorities hope to resume flights Wednesday once the shell has been removed
  • Ordinance is thought to be a U.S.-made bomb dropped in World War II

Dozens of flights were canceled in and out of a northeastern Japanese city on Tuesday after construction workers came across an unexploded shell believed to be from World War II buried near a taxiway.

Airport authorities in Sendai said they had canceled all 92 flights, national and international, scheduled to use the airport Tuesday after the discovery of the shell late Monday under an unpaved area beside the taxiway.

Read more: World War II bomb closes part of Amsterdam airport

Members of the Japanese Self Defense Force are working to remove the ordinance, which is thought to be a U.S.-made bomb dropped during World War II, the airport said, adding that officials hope flights will be able to resume Wednesday.

The device still has a fuse, which raises the risk that it could explode, and is approximately 110 centimeters (43 inches) long and 35 centimeters wide, authorities said.

Sendai is still recovering and rebuilding after the devastating earthquake and tsunami that killed thousands of people and caused widespread destruction across northeastern Japan in March 2011.

    The city is the largest in the region of Tohoku, which bore the brunt of the natural disasters. The damage to its airport was widely documented in images that emerged in the aftermath of the quake and tsunami.

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