Published: Mon, September 04, 2017
Global Media | By Garry Long

German cities evacuate residents before World War II bombs are defused

German cities evacuate residents before World War II bombs are defused

More than 70 years after the end of the war, unexploded bombs are regularly found buried in Germany, legacies of the intense bombing campaigns by the Allied forces against Nazi Germany.

About 20,000 people were evacuated from Koblenz before specialists disarmed a one ton U.S. bomb on Saturday. Dozens of ambulances lined up early Sunday to pick up anyone unable to independently leave the danger zone.

More than 1,000 emergency service workers helped to clear the area and a steady flow of people filed into a temporary shelter at Frankfurt's trade fair site, enjoying bananas and beverages on offer.

The fire chief had projected that if the bomb exploded outside of a controlled circumstance, an entire block could have been obliterated, according to Reuters.

Explosives experts defused a massive WWII bomb which had led to the evacuation of 60,000 people in Frankfurt, the biggest evacuation in Germany since WWII.

Police set up a 1.5-kilometer cordon around the bomb before starting work to defuse it.

"At 6:30 p.m. local time, the Frankfurt police posted on Twitter "[The bomb] has been successfully defused".

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Elderly people from a senior care facility wait to board a bus as part of the evacuation of 50,000 people.

In a statement, the police told local media that the evacuation took place on schedule even though a handful of residents were not initially prepared to vacate the area. In July, a kindergarten was evacuated after teachers discovered an unexploded World War Two bomb on a shelf among some toys.

Police used a helicopter with heat-sensing cameras to ensure the evacuation zone, which covers a radius of around one mile, was completely clear. An estimated 10 percent of the bombs failed to explode.

Every year in Germany more than 2,000 tonnes of munitions and live bombs are discovered, some underneath existing buildings.

The HC 4000 bomb is assumed to have been dropped by Britain's Royal Air Force during the 1939-45 war.

Bomb disposal experts have begun efforts to diffuse the bomb this afternoon.

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