Polish authorities have started excavating the area which allegedly hides a Nazi train full of stolen gold and priceless artefacts.
The army deployed chemical, radiation and explosive experts to the site outside the south-western town of Walbrzych, Poland, on Monday.
But the two men who originally claimed to have found the “gold train” missing since the end of World War Two say the army’s actions are “pointless” as authorities will not dig deeply enough to uncover the loot.
Andreas Richter and Piotr Koper’s announcement provoked huge international interest, with hordes of amateur treasure-hunters descending on the small Polish town despite there being little evidence the train ever existed.
On Monday police and soldiers from the 1st Regiment of Engineers arrived and erected metal barricades and posts to warn off curious onlookers.
Military spokesperson Artur Talika told the Mail Online troops would search the area for mines and radiation leaks, digging just a metre below the surface.
Mr Talika said the army would present its findings to local authorities, who could then decide how to proceed.
But Mr Koper – who along with Mr Richter is demanding 10 per cent of value of the find – has dismissed the army’s actions, claiming they would find nothing as the “train is about eight metres down.”
“We have spent much time examining the logistical problems and worked out a solution for getting the train out. We should be allowed to do this.”
Additional reporting by Associated PressReuse content