170 villagers have to leave their homes for several years

A Swiss village has to move all together because an old ammunition store could explode nearby. It should be cleared, but the authorities are said to need ten years of preparatory work. The 170 inhabitants of Mitholz should therefore only 2031 move out for five to ten years. Moving out is particularly difficult for older roommates, the mayor Roman Lanz told the keystone-sda agency on Wednesday.

Ein altes Munitionslager in der Nähe könnte explodieren.

An old ammunition depot nearby could explode. Photo: Gaetan Bally / KEYSTONE / dpa

Above all, they wanted to be able to inherit their houses, which had often been inhabited for generations, without losing value. The residents are to receive compensation for the loss of value that has already occurred. It is conceivable that time windows are set up in which the residents can take care of their houses and their agriculture in their absence, said Lanz.

Mitholz is around 100 kilometers southwest of Lucerne. The army had established an underground ammunition store nearby decades ago. There are said to be thousands of tons of ammunition. 1947 there was a series of explosions that killed nine people. The entrances were spilled. The army believes that chemical reactions and autoignition occurred. For decades, the army thought the camp was safe. During an investigation 2018, experts came to the conclusion that it had to be cleared.

As Defense Minister Viola Amherd On Tuesday evening informed about the plans on site, there were also three people who had witnessed the explosion 1947. One of them said that work was much faster at the time. Just a year after the explosion, residents could have returned to their homes. (AP)