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Rhine reopens at Koblenz, Germany after wartime bombs defused

December 05/2011

(ICIS) -- A stretch of the River Rhine was reopened on Monday after two bombs from the Second World War, found near the German city of Koblenz, were successfully defused on Sunday, river authority Wasser- und Schifffahrtsamt Bingen said.

The 1.8 tonne and 125kg bombs, which were discovered in a riverbed after water levels fell significantly because of dry weather, prompted the closure of a 60km (38 mile) stretch of the Rhine between Bingen and Koblenz, adding further to logistical problems.

The bomb disposal had triggered the evacuation of 45,000 from the city of Koblenz, almost half the city's population.

Rhine reopens at Koblenz, Germany after wartime bombs defused The low water levels on the Rhine are currently limiting transport and damaging demand in some European refined product barge markets, as well as driving up logistical costs for shippers of chemicals and other commodities.

However, the river's water level has recently risen slightly thanks to some rainfall over the weekend.
The Rhine is an important European shipping route for chemicals and other commodities, including minerals, coal and oil products.

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