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World War II bomb disposal forces evacuation

Police began attempts to defuse an unexploded 500-kilogram (1,100-pound) World War II bomb to dispose of it after it was discovered during construction work near Berlin's central train station.

Posted: Apr 21, 2018 3:09 AM
Updated: Apr 21, 2018 3:09 AM

Police successfully defused an unexploded World War II bomb in Berlin on Friday after it had brought disruption to the German capital.

"A short boom -- defusing successful," Berlin police tweeted after carrying out the operation on the 500-kilogram (1,100-pound) explosive.

Police have since confirmed that members of the public can return to their homes and buildings inside the 800-meter (half-mile) radius of the site that had earlier been evacuated as a precaution.

The bomb was discovered during construction work near the city's central train station, which has now reopened.

Earlier, local bus and train routes were disrupted during the operation while roads surrounding the station were closed.

The evacuation also led to the country's Economic Ministry and Federal Intelligence Service being evacuated.

The Natural History Museum was closed while parts of the local university were cordoned off.

Away from the evacuation site, Berlin's Tegel Airport said Friday's schedule would run as normal.

"Good news: The originally coordinated Tegel flight plan for tomorrow can take place as planned," the airport tweeted Thursday.

The discovery of bombs from the Second World War is not an uncommon occurrence in Germany and elsewhere, with hundreds found ever year.

In September, a 1,400-kilogram bomb discovered in Frankfurt led to nearly 60,000 people being evacuated while experts defused the device.

In May, more than 50,000 people were evacuated from Hanover after bombs were discovered during pre-construction work on a site in the Vahrenwald district.

On Christmas Day 2016, another 50,000 were forced to leave Augsburg in south Germany after a 1,800-kilogram bomb was found beneath an underground parking garage.

A Russian-made aerial bomb weighing 100 kilograms was found near a train track leading into Berlin's main station in 2013.

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