German Police Successfully Diffuse World War II-Era Bombs

On Saturday, over 100 patients from two hospitals were moved, including premature babies and people in intensive care.

Central Frankfurt looked like a ghost town after almost 60,000 people were evacuated, forced to leave their homes ahead of the operation in the German city.

The 1.4-ton bomb was discovered Tuesday during construction near the Goethe University Frankfurt compound. Officials have ordered residents to evacuate homes within a 1.5-kilometer (nearly a mile) radius of the site in Germany's financial capital. Dozens of ambulances were prepared to pick up anyone unable to independently leave the danger zone.

In the meanwhile, a temporary shelter has been set up in Frankfurt's trade fair to house affected residents.

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About 60,000 people had to leave their homes after being warned that an uncontrolled explosion could flatten a city block. The Royal Air Force dropped the bomb during the war, and on Sunday, it prompted the largest evacuation the country has seen in the 72 years since then.

The device was a British bomb, specifically a 1.4-ton HC 4000 air mine, the statement said, and was put under police guard ahead of Sunday's operation to make it safe. Officials estimate that 15% of the bombs failed to explode, some burrowing six metres (yards) deep.

Elderly people from a senior care facility wait to board a bus as part of the evacuation of 50,000 people.

Police said the size of the bomb made extensive evacuation measures a necessary precaution. The reason is the disposal of a British bomb from the Second World War, Reuters reported.

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An average of about 2,000 tonnes of unexploded ordnance are found each year in Germany.

But some people were still in the evacuation zone well past the deadline as police carried out door-to-door checks.

Bomb disposal experts have begun efforts to diffuse the bomb this afternoon.

In a show of public spirit, museums are opening their doors for free to provide evacuees with a place to spend the day.

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