Germany Pulls Off Largest Evacuation Since WWII

65K people had to be moved out of Frankfurt while authorities defused bomb
By Josh Rosenblatt,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 3, 2017 2:05 PM CDT
Germany Pulls Off Largest Evacuation Since WWII
Police officers coordinate the evacuation of residents in Frankfurt, Germany   (Andreas Arnold/dpa via AP)

The biggest evacuation in Germany since the end of World War II has gone off with barely a hitch. On Sunday about 65,000 residents living in a one-mile area of Frankfurt had to evacuate their homes while authorities defused an unexploded bomb, the BBC reports. The WWII-era British HC 4000 bomb was discovered Tuesday at a building site, and authorities said that an uncontrolled explosion could flatten a city street. Police made sure the area was clear by using heat-sensing technology, and noted a couple of stragglers may face criminal charges.

There are believed to be hundreds of thousands of unexploded WWII-era bombs in Germany. Officials believe about 15% of the bombs dropped on Germany during the war failed to explode, and many ended up buried deep in the ground. About 2,000 tons of unexploded ordinance are found each year. Before Sunday, the largest post-war evacuation in Germany took place last Christmas in Augsburg, when 54,000 residents were forced to leave their homes while a disposal squad defused a huge 1.8-ton aerial bomb. On Sunday afternoon, Reuters reported that the Frankfurt bomb had been successfully defused. (More Frankfurt stories.)

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