Entire Swiss village is warned they may have to leave their homes for a DECADE while a nearby World War Two munitions store is cleared
The depot in Mitholz, 35 miles from Bern, contains 3,500 tonnes of ammunitionAn explosion there killed nine villagers in 1947 when half the munitions blew upExperts say it will take until at least 2013 to clear the explosives and make it safe
Residents of a village in the Swiss Alps may have to evacuate their homes for more than a decade while a massive underground munitions store from World War II is cleared.
The depot in Mitholz, about 35 miles south of the capital Bern, contains 3,500 tonnes of ammunition and several hundred tonnes of explosives.
Nine people died there in 1947 when around half of the arsenal exploded and the Swiss defence ministry now fears a second tragedy.
Experts said the risk of a second explosion had been underestimated for decades and that the risk is now ‘unacceptable’ and ‘total evacuation’ was the best option.
Villagers in the Swiss mountain village of Mitholz could be evacuated for a decade
An explosion at the munitions store in 1947 (pictured) killed nine villagers in Mitholz
The underground store has partially caved in and many of the explosives are now covered by fallen rocks.
The cost of cleaning up the site is expected to significantly exceed one billion Swiss francs (£790m) and will take until at least 2031.