Frankfurt starts defusing massive WWII bomb after evacuating 60000

Frankfurt starts defusing massive WWII bomb after evacuating 60000

Frankfurt starts defusing massive WWII bomb after evacuating 60000

Residents in two German cities are evacuating their homes as authorities prepare to dispose of World War II-era bombs found during construction work this week.

Around 21,000 people had to leave the area in Koblenz as the 500-kilogramme (1,100-pound) bomb was successfully defused, before the fire brigade allowed residents to return to their homes.

More than 100 patients from two hospitals were moved on Saturday including premature babies and people in intensive care.

Police said anyone refusing to evacuate would be arrested.

Seven decades after the end of the Second World War, unexploded bombs from intense Allied raids on Nazi Germany are still occasionally found in building sites, forests and fields and sometimes even in private gardens.

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Helicopters with heat-sensing cameras circled to spot stragglers and police chiefs said they would use force if necessary to clear the area, warning that an uncontrolled explosion would be big enough to flatten a city block.

"There were a few people who were in need of help and who had to be taken out of the area", said Frankfurt police chairman Gerhard Bereswill, in a...

The evacuation area includes 20 retirement homes, an opera house, and Germany's central bank where half the country's gold reserves are stored.

Museums were offering residents free entry today, and many hotels offered discounts. Numerous bombs were equipped with malfunctioning time-delay fuses, and many never went off.

The device was found last week in the city's leafy Westend neighborhood, home to many wealthy bankers. Similar operations are still common 72 years after the war ended.

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