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German explosives experts defused a massive Second World War bomb in the financial capital of
Frankfurt on Sunday after tens of thousands of people evacuated their homes.
About 60,000 people were ordered to leave in what was Germany’s biggest evacuation since the war,
with more than 1,000 emergency service workers helping to clear the area around the bomb, which was
discovered on a building site last week. Police set up cordons around the evacuation area, which covered a
radius of just under a mile (1.5km), as residents dragged suitcases with them and many families left by
The fire service said the evacuation of two hospitals, including premature babies and patients in
intensive care, had been completed and they were helping about 500 elderly people to leave residences
and care homes.
More than 2,000 tonnes of live bombs and munitions are found each year in Germany, even under
buildings. In July, a kindergarten was evacuated after teachers discovered an unexploded Second World
War bomb on a shelf among some toys. British and American warplanes pummelled Germany with 1.5 million
tonnes of bombs that killed 600,000 people. Officials estimate that 15% of the bombs failed to explode.
Frankfurt police said they rang every doorbell and used helicopters with heat-sensing cameras to
make sure nobody was left behind before they began defusing the bomb on Sunday.
Adapted from https://www.theguardian.com/world/