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The bomb being exploded in the Main River at Frankfurt
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/F. Rumpenhorst

Frankfurt: WWII bomb detonated in river

April 14, 2019

Specialists detonated a World War II bomb in Frankfurt's Main River, causing a spectacular water fountain. Hundreds of residents living nearby were evacuated ahead of the explosion.


Parts of Frankfurt city center were evacuated on Sunday, as bomb disposal experts detonated a US World War Two bomb in the city's Main River.

Some 600 people were asked to leave their homes, with parts of the old town around Frankfurt Cathedral affected. About 350 firefighters, police and Red Cross staff were involved in the operation to move residents.

The device was discovered on Tuesday during an exercise dive by the city's fire service. The initial plan had been for a partial detonation to neutralize the bomb, but experts were wary that the whole device could explode.

Specialist divers moved the 250-kilogram (550-pound) US bomb from the position where it was found to a greater depth of 5.5 to 6 meters (18 to 19.7 feet).

The explosion, which destroyed the bomb completely, sent a water plume some 30 meters up into the air.

Read more: Hot weather exposes World War II munitions in German waters

Smaller explosions had been detonated in the water to drive away fish ahead of the main explosion.

More than 70 years after the end of the war, unexploded bombs are regularly unearthed during construction work in Germany. Temporary evacuations are commonplace.

rc/jlw (dpa, EBU)

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