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The discovery of a 1.8 tonne aerial mine in Frankfurt has triggered Germany’s largest evacuation in the post-war period. Emergency services began evacuating some 60,000 people, including two hospitals, in a 1.5 km radius on Saturday, September 2. The British Second World War mine was uncovered during construction works on Tuesday, according to the city’s fire department, and is scheduled to be defused on Sunday. Footage and photos released by the fire brigade showed the preparations for the hospital evacuations with additional support pulled in from emergency services in nearby areas. Credit: Frankfurt Fire Department via Storyful
A patient of the Buergerhospital hospital is evacuated in Frankfurt, Germany, Saturday, Sept. 2. Picture: Frank Rumpenhorst via AP
THE largest evacuation operation in post-war Germany is underway with 70,000 people in Frankfurt forced to leave their homes due to a World War II-era bomb.
A 1.8-tonne HC 4000 British bomb packed with 1300kg of explosives is set to be defused in the densely populated upmarket Westend neighbourhood on Sunday.
Police notified residents that they needed to evacuate through multiple channels, including handing out flyers, posting information on social media and asking people to reach out to their neighbours.
Emergency services advised residents to prepare for the procedure to take longer than expected and said the end of the evacuation would be announced through loudspeaker systems, online and on the radio.
Police had bulked up patrols Saturday to ensure that thieves and other criminals would not take advantage of the empty residences.
A squirrel with an apple in its mouth jumps down from a tree next to a excavator shovel where an unexploded 1.8 tons WW II bomb was found in Frankfurt. Picture: Michael Probst/APSource:AP
Patients at two different hospitals, including several newborns, as well as elderly people from 10 homes had to be moved to safety on Saturday, according to police and firefighters in Frankfurt.
About 21,000 residents of Koblenz were earlier ordered to evacuate as a precaution. Prison inmates were among those forced to relocate temporarily.
Authorities are hoping to clear an area of 1.5km around the bomb. The ABC reports failure to defuse the bomb could cause an explosion big enough to flatten a city fire block.
“This bomb has more than 1.4 tonnes of explosives,” local fire chief Reinhard Ries said.
“It’s not just fragments that are the problem, but also the pressure that it creates that would dismantle all the buildings in a 100-metre radius.”
It’s believed the bomb was dropped by Britain’s Royal Air Force during a the Second World War.
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