- Military to carry out ``reconnaissance'' work in coming days
- Officials seek to downplay possible disovery amid gold fever
Poland is set to send military explosives experts to inspect the area of a possible buried German Nazi train that local legend says is laden with gold, other loot and potentially booby traps.
Defense Minister Tomasz Siemoniak agreed to use military personnel for “reconnaissance” work in the area, spokesman Jacek Sonta said on his Twitter Inc. account on Tuesday. The operation will be carried out in the coming days and the ministry is acting on a request from regional authorities in south-west Poland, where the World War II train was allegedly found. The potential discovery has drawn hordes of treasure seekers to look for the loot in the hilly forests around the town of Walbrzych, near the Czech border.
Further army involvement beyond the initial probe depends on whether the soldiers “confirm what we’ve been hearing in the media,” Sonta told TVP Info on Tuesday.
Regional officials on Monday downplayed speculation about the discovery, saying new documents about the location of the lost armored train weren’t any stronger than similar claims made in past decades. Local lore claims that a Nazi train loaded with loot went missing in the region some 70 years ago after departing from Wroclaw when German forces were in retreat from the Soviet-led Red Army.
Poland’s government appealed to the public last week to stop scouring the area, as there is a “huge probability” that the train is laden with explosives. The nation’s gold frenzy was triggered when two men approached officials in Walbrzych, saying they found rail wagons potentially loaded with military equipment, valuables and “precious metals,” Radio Wroclaw reported two weeks ago, citing a letter the men sent through lawyers.