Bomb disposal squads have successfully defused a huge British World War II-era bomb that set off the mass departure of around 45,000 people from their residences in Germany’s western city of Koblenz.
The evacuation of people from their homes was one of the biggest bomb-related mass evacuations in Germany’s history since the end of world war. According to reports, around 2,500 police officers, paramedics and firefighters were on duty throughout the city to take care of the episode.
The bomb disposal professionals effectively neutralized the British 1.8 ton bomb. The experts also diffused a 275-pound U.S. bomb that had been uncovered in November. According to Heiko Breitbarth, a spokesman for Koblenz's firefighters, the 275-pound U.S. bomb was found after the Rhine River’s water intensity went down considerably due to a lack of rain for very long period.
Reports suggest that almost half of the city’s population living within around 1.2 miles from the site of bomb disposal were ordered to evacuate their homes early Sunday. Streets were closed off and the major train station was earlier shut to trains. The evacuation order was then lifted in the evening, reports said.
Announcements directed at residents to evacuate their homes were also made via loud-speakers installed on vehicles. Besides, leaflets were doled out counseling people to lock their homes, make sure to close their windows and leave the shutters on the windows down.
"Please think to take any necessary medication in sufficient quantity," the leaflet read.
According to sources, 7 nursing homes, a prison with two hundred prisoners and 2 hospitals were also among those ordered to evacuate. Tens of hundreds of people had to be evacuated in emergency and disabled automobiles out of the bomb disposal region earlier in the day, officials said.
Experts believe that the British bomb could have resulted in substantial damages in the event that it went off.
"I did my job, that was all," lead defusing expert Horst Lenz said.
Discovering undetonated bombs dropped over Germany during WWII are frequent over sixty five years following the end of the war. The bombs are generally neutralized or set off by specialists without causing damages.