WWII Bomb Forces 45K to Evacuate Town

Experts prepare to defuse aerial explosive spotted in Rhine
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Dec 1, 2011 2:32 AM CST
Some 45,000 residents of Koblenz will be forced to evacuate to experts can defuse a 1.8 ton aerial bomb that was spotted in the Rhine River.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Half of the German city of Koblenz is being evacuated so experts can defuse a 1.8 ton World War II bomb. The aerial explosive, believed dropped by the RAF, was spotted in the Rhine River as dry conditions lowered water levels. Some 45,000 residents are leaving the area as experts prepare to defuse and remove the 10-foot bomb on Sunday, reports Der Spiegel. Two hospitals, a jail, and seven retirement homes will have to be emptied. It's believed to be the largest evacuation in Germany since the war ended.

Workers are building a temporary dam and the area will be pumped free of water. The bomb, packed with some 3,000 pounds of explosives, is partially buried in mud, making access to the detonation fuse difficult, reports Stars and Stripes. US bomb experts stationed in Germany are standing by to help if necessary.

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