Expert: Saddam bunker can survive atomic bomb
The German architect of one of Saddam Hussein's main bunkers in Baghdad said on Friday the Iraqi president can survive anything short of a direct hit with a nuclear bomb if he stays within its 1.5 metre thick walls.
"It could withstand the shock wave of a nuclear bomb the size of the Hiroshima one detonating 250 metres away," said Karl Esser, a security consultant who designed the bunker underneath Saddam's main presidential palace in Baghdad.
U.S.-led troops will also find it hard to fight their way in through its three-tonne Swiss-made doors, Esser told Reuters.
CNN reported on Friday that U.S. B-52 bombers dropped a two ton "bunker busting" bomb on the capital for the first time in the campaign.
The palace bunker can accommodate 50 people and has two escape tunnels, one leading 200 meters to the Tigris river.
It was built in 1982 and 1983 by German firm Boswau & Knauer, which merged into what is now the Walter-Bau AG building group.
At the time Esser was a consultant for a German government-sponsored civil protection body and had his own company, Schutzraumtechnik Esser GmbH, which supplied equipment for Saddam's bunker.
Esser said "bunker busting" bombs like the one dropped on Friday would fail to penetrate the 1,800 square-meter bunker because they first have to get though the palace built directly above it.
"The presidential palace above gives natural protection so the bunker can only be cracked by ground troops or a tactical nuclear bomb," said Esser. (Albawaba.com)
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