Published: Sat, April 21, 2018

Thousands evacuated from German Capital

Thousands evacuated from German Capital

The planned disposal of an unexploded World War II bomb on Friday will force a mass evacuation around Berlin's central railway station and likely spark transport chaos in the German capital.

Some 10,000 residents and workers were forced to leave a square-mile area, including the train station, while bomb experts removed the 500-kilogram (1,100lb) British bomb dropped during the war. Some 300,000 travellers use the station every day.

Bomb disposal experts were able to successfully remove the detonator just after 1 p.m. and destroy it in a small controlled explosion.

United Kingdom bomb, which is now being defused, was found at Heidestrasse street, after which police ordered all the buildings located within a 800-meter (over 2,600 feet) radius of the explosive to be evacuated, Der Tagesspiegel media outlet reported.

Chancellor Angela Merkel's office and Germany's parliament building are close by, but outside the zone.

Thousands of bombs still lie beneath German cities and often require temporary evacuations when discovered.

More than 363 bombing raids were carried out on Berlin during the Second World War.

An estimated more than 2,000 tons of bombs and ammunition are unearthed in Germany each year. Police also said the bomb was "safe for now", reassuring nearby residents that "there is no immediate danger".

German rail operator Deutsche Bahn said it expected long-distance rail transport at the central station to be disrupted from 10am to 2pm local time (8am to 12pm Irish time).

In May, more than 50,000 people were evacuated from Hanover after a bomb was discovered during pre-construction work on a site in the Vahrenwald district. But these disposals do result in major disruptions within the city.

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