February 24, 2018

Frankfurt evacuated Sunday for disposal of WWII bomb

03 September 2017, 09:02 | Frank Carlson

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A couple leaves their apartment building and walks behind police during an evacuation of more than 60,000 people in Frankfurt on Sunday

Authorities cleared almost 60,000 people from a 1.5 kilometer (0.57 square mile) area in the Westend district, warning that the 1.8 metric ton (4,000-pound) bomb could flatten an entire block if it explodes.

German explosives experts started to defuse a massive World War Two bomb in Frankfurt today after tens of thousands of people evacuated their homes.

The city said police will enforce a 1,500-metre radius evacuation zone starting early Sunday and residents will probably need to stay away until 8:00 pm (1800 GMT).

The British bomb is a 1.4 ton HC 4000 air mine, according to the statement.

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. We will now assess if everybody has left voluntarily and go from house to house and remove people if necessary. Others sat in cafes on the edge of the evacuation zone. "I have never seen anything like it".

Dieter Schwaetzler left and Rene Bennert sit next to the 1.8 ton WWII bomb after they defused it in Frankfurt
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The city is also offering many activities to evacuees, with all public museums open and free of charge.

The Frankfurt fire brigade said residents are expected to be able to return to their homes from 6 p.m. local time.

The evacuation is the biggest since the war ended in 1945.

Around 60,000 people were ordered to leave in what was Germany's biggest evacuation since the war, with more than a thousand emergency service workers helping to clear the area.

The bomb was found during construction in an upscale area.

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