60000 people leave homes in Frankfurt ahead of WW II bomb defusal

Randolph Lopez
September 3, 2017

Premature babies and intensive care patients had to be evacuated along with everyone else from two hospitals and rescue workers helped about 500 elderly people leave residences and care homes.

Bomb technicians had been scheduled to begin work shortly after noon local time, but the fire department said there were delays as some people refused to leave.

Police used a helicopter equipped with thermal imaging equipment to check that each street had been cleared in the potential blast zone should defusing the bomb go wrong. In July, a kindergarten was evacuated after teachers discovered an unexploded World War Two bomb on a shelf among some toys.

The discovery of a large explosive device, believed to be a remnant from the Second World War, has forced the evacuation of 60,000 residents from a Frankfurt suburb in Germany. Reportedly even Germany's central bank, with its $70 billion in gold reserves, is in the danger area.

Officials have moved quickly to safely dispose of the bomb, amid concerns that an uncontrolled explosion would destroy an entire block of buildings.

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The bombs were found last week at a building site, in what is the country's biggest evacuation since the war.

A woman carries her belongings past a police officer experts prepare to defuse an unexploded British bomb in Frankfurt.

Museums were offering residents free entry today, and many hotels offered discounts. It's estimated that about half the 2.7 million tonnes of bombs dropped by Allied powers during World War Two landed on German soil (compared to about 74,000 tonnes of bombs dropped on the United Kingdom by Germany).

Adding to the problem are Russian artillery shells, German hand grenades and tank mines, as well as Russian munitions from training facilities in post-war East Germany. Oranienburg, just outside Berlin, has the dubious distinction of being the "most unsafe town in Germany". Similar operations are still common 72 years after the war ended.

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