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Thousands evacuated in Berlin for WWII bomb defusing

November 14, 2020

A quarter-ton World War II bomb was discovered in the Kreuzberg district of Berlin. Thousands of people were evacuated from their homes as police set up a radius around the unexploded ordinance.

German police set a perimeter so a World War II bomb can be defused
Image: Paul Zinken/dpa/picture alliance

About 7,500 people in Berlin were evacuated from their homes on Saturday while the authorities defused a World War II bomb.

The 250 kilogram (quarter-ton) bomb was discovered in the Kreuzberg region of the German capital during construction work, Berlin police said.

Read more: Germany defuses WWII bombs at Tesla Gigafactory site

Authorities evacuated the area beginning 8:00 a.m. local time (7:00 UTC) Saturday morning and set up a 300-meter (1,000-foot) radius around the bomb. Several bus lines were also diverted and two subway lines restricted as the bomb was defused.

On Saturday afternoon, police shared a photo of the bomb on Twitter, while announcing that the evacuation effort in the area was nearly complete.

They later announced that the bomb was safely defused and people could return to their homes. 

Such evacuations are common in Germany as dormant World War II bombs remain scattered across the country.

The explosives have the potential to self-detonate, as was the case in June 2019 when a bomb exploded in a field in western Germany. The explosion registered a small tremor of 1.7 on the Richter scale and left behind a giant crater.

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