Euskirchen, Germany -- Damage to private homes was considerable after a suspected World War Two-era bomb exploded in the German town of Euskirchen near Bonn on Friday, killing a construction worker and injuring eight other people.
Resident Resi Scherren was at work at a nearby "Obi" hardware store chain when the explosion occurred, she told reporters.
"The Obi sirens went off. I wasn't able to get here, not by car. So I walked and I saw my window totally destroyed, with everything pushed inside. There are broken pictures that fell off the wall and I'm still shaking from fear," Scherren said, standing outside her home.
Television footage from the scene of the explosion, some 200 metres from Scherren's house, showed the mangled wreckage of the digger's cab and a nearby hut, and windows and doors blown out by the blast.
"Everybody (at the hardware store) ran towards the doors and there was a huge dust cloud. So we wondered whether maybe the ceiling came down at our store but that was not the case. The sirens were blaring and then it became clear that it happened somewhere else," Scherren said.
Euskirchen is situated in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), Germany's most populous state.
During World War Two the state was pounded by Allied bombs, as it is home to one of Germany's most dense industrial areas.
Every year hundreds of war-time bombs are still uncovered in Germany, though most are successfully detonated.
NRW's interior ministry said it defused 706 bombs in 2012, 239 of which weighed more than 50 kilos.
Experts increasingly use Allies' war-time aerial photographs to find unexploded bombs, although many are also uncovered accidentally during construction work.
Several hours after the explosion, local authorities expressed doubts whether a World War era bomb was the cause of the blast, adding that it was too early to determine the source.