From: Sodom on Potomac
Situations like this are always difficult to deal with, and the decisions made are never made lightly, even though they may appear stupid or negligent to the casual bystander. Some of my observations:
The fuze - Chemical (and mechanical) long delay fuzes almost always had an anti-withdrawal feature incorporated. The reason is obvious...the fuze is accessible until detonation. For those of you with access to OP1664, look up the M120 series delay fuzes. It took very little movement to initiate the anti-withdrawal feature. How much of that movement was accomplished when the bomb initially impacted ? How much oxidation or other chemical interaction took place with the bomb over the years it was buried ? Was it exposed to excessive heat/cold or other environmental factors ? These questions are practically impossible to answer, so one must assume the worst until porven otherwise.
The staw and sandbags - Explosive effects follow the path of least resistance, and the optium direction to minimize blast/shock effect is upward. Why ? Electrical, sewage, water, comm and gas lines, subsurface structures like subways, etc. Earth does a good job of transmitting shock waves, even more if there is good solid bedrock in the area. An excellent and easy way to minimize the shock is to simply dig a trench around the item; however, this may not be possible in a heavy urban area. Straw bales, you ask ? Pretty handy for minimizing shrapnel, but yes, they can catch fire. Then again, I've set hundreds of sandbag remnants and tires on fire from shots too. So, whats more cost effective...some fire damage to houses, or collapsing a subway tunnel, or starting a massive propane gas line exposion ?
Explosives twice - Not all of the explosive may have gone on the first shot. It happens.
Dumb bomb disposal and property damage - Most truly dumb ones are members of the Order of the Red Mist. As for property damage, we are responsible for negligent work, but I've never known that to happen. As for the rest of it, thats a legislative thing, and, well....their parents/grandparents shouldn't have picked a fight.
Finally, I read recently that the French and Belgians recover something like 600 tons of chemical weapons a year from the border area. I can't imagine what the conventional tonnage is.