‘Blockbuster’ WWII bomb defused after evacuating 60,000 in Frankfurt
Bomb dispoaL experts Rene Bennert, left, and Dieter Schwetzler from the regional council Darmstadt defused a massive World War Two bomb in the financial capital of Frankfurt on Sunday.
The 1.8-tonne British bomb, which German media said was nicknamed "Wohnblockknacker" -- or blockbuster -- for its ability to wipe out whole streets and flatten buildings.
The operation in central Frankfurt to get residents to safety was the biggest evacuation of its kind in post-war Germany, the city's security chief said.
The massive operation began at dawn, as homes and buildings within a 1.5-kilometre radius of the site were ordered cleared by 0600 GMT.
After hours of delay as police struggled to get the area cleared, bomb disposal experts finally managed to disarm the explosive in the evening.
More than 70 years after the end of the war, unexploded bombs are regularly found buried in Germany, legacies of the intense bombing campaigns by the Allied forces against Nazi Germany.
The compulsory evacuation of 60,000 people was Germany’s biggest such maneuver since the World War II.
Police then began lifting the evacuation order progressively, giving priority for patients in two hospitals within the affected district to be brought back to their wards.
A policeman guards a street during an evacuation of more than 60 000 people in Frankfurt, Germany, Sunday.