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Police cars in Mannheim
Around 150 police officers initiated a mass evacuation after the bomb's discovery in MannheimImage: Rene Priebe/dpa/picture alliance

WWII bomb discovered and defused in Mannheim

April 22, 2021

Around 3,000 people had to leave their homes after construction workers came across a 500kg bomb. Bomb disposal experts and about 150 police officers aided in the operation.


Construction workers in the southern German city of Mannheim uncovered a 500-kilo (1100-pound) World War II-era aerial bomb, police said in a statement on Thursday.

The explosive device, found at a former US military barracks, was defused on the same day.

About 3,000 people in a radius of approximately 500 meters (roughly one third of a mile) around the site were asked to leave their homes. Police first cleared a school adjacent to the site, although given the unusual pandemic situation, only 25 students were in class.

At least 150 police officers were called on to the scene to assist with clearing the area so the bomb could be defused.

Some disruptions to local public transport were also caused. 

By Thursday evening, police had announced the operation a success and said that locals could return to their homes.  

Common occurrence in Germany

It is not unusual in Germany for wartime artillery to be uncovered, particularly during construction work.

On 31 January, bomb disposal experts detonated four WWII bombs in the central city of Göttingen after thousands of residents evacuated their homes. Those had been dropped by the US military during the war.

mvb/msh (dpa)

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