Thousands evacuated in Frankfurt as officials work to defuse WW2 bomb

Delia Watkins
September 3, 2017

Police officers close a street as 60,000 people in Germany's financial capital are about to evacuate the city while experts defuse an unexploded British World War Two bomb found during renovations on the university's campus in Frankfurt, Germany, September 3, 2017.

More than 80,000 people in two German cities were ordered to leave their homes as authorities prepared to dispose of two World War II-era bombs found during construction last week.

Patients at a nearby hospital have also been evacuated ahead of the explosion.

A temporary evacuation centre has been set up at Frankfurt's trade fair site.

The evacuation area includes Germany's central bank which houses half the country's gold reserves. If that fails they will try to cut the fuses away with a water jet. Allied forces carried out a heavy bombing campaign, and between 10 per cent and 30 per cent of the bombs that were dropped did not explode.

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About 150,000 unexploded bombs dropped by British and American planes are believed to by lying across Germany.

Around 60,000 people have left their homes in the largest evacuation in a German city since the war.

Some 2,000 tonnes of undetonated explosives continue to be located every year in Germany, more than 70 years after the end of World War II.

Police used a helicopter with heat-sensing cameras to ensure the evacuation zone, which covers a radius of around one mile, was completely clear.

Museums were offering residents free entry on Sunday, and many hotels offered discounts.

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