Mass evacuation in Frankfurt as World War II bomb is defused

Berlin: Nearly 13,000 residents were evacuated in Frankfurt on Sunday as experts defused an unexploded World War II bomb, local emergency services said.

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The 500-kg British bomb had been found on a construction site in Germany’s financial capital on Thursday, the emergency services said.

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A 700-metre evacuation radius was set up in the west of the city centre in an area that included a number of old people’s homes, heating and internet infrastructure and facilities of the Deutsche Bahn national rail operator.

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The work was expected to continue into the evening because of coronavirus restrictions, the authorities said.

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Some 75 years after the war, Germany remains littered with unexploded ordnance, often uncovered during construction work.

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Earlier this year, experts defused seven World War II bombs found on the future location of Tesla’s first European factory, just outside Berlin.

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Sizeable bombs have also been defused in Cologne and Dortmund this year.

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In 2017, the discovery of a 1.4-tonne bomb in Frankfurt prompted the evacuation of 65,000 people – the largest such operation since the end of the war in Europe in 1945.

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