World War II bomb disposal forces evacuation in central Berlin

Posted at 9:02 AM, Apr 20, 2018

The disposal of an unexploded World War II bomb brought disruption to Berlin Friday as police began attempts to defuse a 500-kilogram (1,100-pound) explosive.

The bomb was discovered during construction work near the city’s central train station.

Police have evacuated buildings that are in an 800-meter (half-mile) radius of the site as a precaution with officers knocking on doors to ensure nobody is remaining inside.

Local bus and train routes havebeen disrupted during the operation while roads surrounding the station have been closed.

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

The Natural History Museum has been closed while parts of the local University have been cordoned off.

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

“Good news: The originally coordinated Tegel flight plan for tomorrow can take place as planned,” it tweeted Thursday.

The discovery of bombs from the second World War is not an uncommon occurrence in Germany 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 a bomb was 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.