Two World War II Bombs Defused in Germany After Mass Evacuation

Clay Curtis
January 14, 2020

Two World War II-era bombs were made safe in the western German city of Dortmund after around 14,000 people were evacuated, the city said Sunday.

On the official website of Dortmund on Twitter reported that the city hosts one of the largest evacuations in history.

The American and British bombs were successfully defused hours after people were forced to leave their homes at 8am this morning.

Local media said earlier that four suspected bombs from World War II had been discovered in a densely populated quarter, but two of the subjects were later found to be no explosives.

The total area to be evacuated covers a large part of Dortmund's city centre, including the main train station and nearby National Football Museum. People were able to learn if they were affected from a list of addresses published by the authorities. Starting Saturday, hundreds of patients and senior citizens had been relocated from two hospitals in the area.

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The bombs are believed to be from World War II and were dropped by Allied forces during the war. British squadrons bombed central Dortmund heavily in May 1943 during a monthslong Allied aerial campaign to pummel heavy industry in the surrounding Ruhr District used by the-then Nazi regime.

Decades later, unexploded bombs, mines, shells and grenades still threaten to explode, with thousands feared still lying underground. The devices found in the process are either defused or destroyed in controlled demolitions.

Residents within a 500m radius of each location were told to leave their homes by 8.00am on Sunday, with excavation work to begin later in the day. Around 14,000 residents were evacuated from their homes prior to the operation.

Eleven bomb technicians have been killed in Germany in the line of duty since 2000, according to Smithsonian Magazine, including three who perished in a single botched operation in Gottingen in 2010.

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