Unexploded WW-II bomb found in Frankfurt, 65000 residents evacuated

WWII bomb causes two cities to be evacuated

Technicians worked for hours Sunday to successfully defuse a World War II-era bomb that had been lying dormant under the bustling streets of Frankfurt for some seven decades.

Ten of thousands of residents of Germany's financial capital Frankfurt left their homes on Sunday ahead of the planned defusing of a massive Second World War bomb discovered on a building site.

If the bomb isn't defused, it could cause an explosion big enough to flatten a city block... a threat severe enough to cause the largest post-war evacuation in Germany's history.

Frankfurters can spend the day at shelters set up at the trade fair and the Jahrhunderthalle convention center. Also, small private planes, helicopters and drones will be banned from the evacuation zone.

The evacuated area was the Westend district, and it included hospitals, a opera house, nursing homes and Germany's central bank, where an important part of the gold reserves of Germany are saved.

Local police announced via Twitter that all known blasting mechanisms of the 1.8-ton bomb had been dismantled.

The city's fire service helped evacuate around 500 elderly people from their care homes, while emergency crews evacuated babies and intensive care patients from two hospitals.

Explosives used in World War II-era Allied ordnance were generally stable enough to remain risky for long amounts of time, though other components of the bombs often degrade, making them particularly hazardous to try and defuse.

Even after 72 years since the war ended, unexploded bombs are regularly found buried on German land, legacies of the intense bombing campaigns by the Allied forces against Nazi Germany.

The country was pummeled by 1.5 million tons of bombs from British and American warplanes that killed 600,000 people.

Bomb disposal experts have begun efforts to diffuse the bomb this afternoon. Officials estimate 15 per cent of the bombs failed to explode, some burrowing six metres deep.

Some of the city's museums have offered free entry to displaced residents.

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