Frankfurt evacuated for World War II bomb disposal

Javier Stokes
September 3, 2017

Police will ring every doorbell and use helicopters with heat-sensing cameras to make sure nobody is in the area before they diffuse the bomb, and anyone who refuses to leave would be forcibly removed.

The bombs were found last week at a building site, in what is the country's biggest evacuation since the war.

The bomb was found during work Tuesday close to the Goethe University Frankfurt compound, police said in a statement.

About 21,000 people have been ordered to leave their homes and workplaces in the western city of Koblenz as a precaution before specialists attempt to defuse the 500-kilogram (1,100-pound) USA bomb on Saturday afternoon.

The work by bomb technicians started later than planned as some people refused to leave the evacuation area despite fire chiefs warning that an uncontrolled explosion would be big enough to flatten a city block. If that fails, a water jet was to be used to cut the fuses.

Dieter Schwaetzler left and Rene Bennert sit next to the 1.8 ton WWII bomb after they defused it in Frankfurt
Dieter Schwaetzler left and Rene Bennert sit next to the 1.8 ton WWII bomb after they defused it in Frankfurt

About 150,000 unexploded bombs dropped by British and American planes are believed to by lying across Germany. Officials estimate 15 per cent of the bombs failed to explode, some burrowing six metres deep.

A police vehicle next to a blue tent covering a British World War II bomb in Frankfurt.

On Wednesday, a 1.4-tonne United Kingdom bomb was found on a building site on Wismarer Strasse in Frankfurt.

The brigade's director, Reinhard Ries, told reporters: "The scale of this bomb is overwhelming".

Roads and transport systems will also be closed, and air traffic in the evacuation zone may be affected.

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