(c) 2019, The Washington Post · Rick Noack · WORLD, EUROPE · May 03, 2019 - 6:54 PM, BERLIN - After World War I and World War II, officials decided to dump hundreds of thousands of metric tons of munitions into the oceans around Europe, which at the time appeared to be the most easily accessible disposal ground. Some of those weapons - including mines containing mustard gas - were simply dropped into the Baltic and North seas in the heart of Europe rather than being taken to faraway dump sites near the Arctic Circle.
This week, the Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws reported that officials have grown concerned that one of those dump sites - close to the Belgian coastal municipality of Knokke-Heist - has started to leak. At the site, two out of 23 probed locations showed signs of contamination, the paper said. The revelation followed months of official inquiries into what authorities fear could be a mounting public safety threat.