Largest ever evacuation set to take place in Frankfurt after WWII bomb found

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Largest ever evacuation set to take place in Frankfurt after WWII bomb found
An unexploded bomb found in Hildesheim in July. Photo: DPA

Some 70,000 people will have to leave their homes in Frankfurt on Sunday, after an unexploded bomb from the Second World War was found in the city. It is set to be the biggest ever evacuation due to a bomb disposal.


The British-made bomb, which weighs 1.8 tonnes and is two metres in length, was found during building work on the Wismarer Strasse in the Westend district, according to the Frankfurter Rundschau. German media said the bomb was nicknamed "Wohnblockknacker" (blockbuster) during the war for its ability to wipe out whole streets or buildings.

A police spokesperson said on Wednesday that 70,000 people will likely have to leave their homes, meaning that almost one in ten of the city's 717,000 inhabitants will be affected.

MUST READ: What you need to know about WWII bomb disposals in Germany

Officers are guarding the site and there "is currently no danger".

Police said the bomb in question was a HC 4000, a so-called high capacity bomb used in air raids by British forces.

"Due to the large size of the bomb, extensive evacuation measures must be taken," police said.

The Wismarer street where the ordnance was found is close to the city centre and just some 2.5 kilometres north of the main Zeil shopping area. Among the affected buildings are the German Federal Bank and two hospitals. 

Police expect Sunday’s evacuation to be completed by midday so that they can get on with disposing of the bomb. 

The biggest evacuation until now in the post-war era took place in Augsburg on Christmas Eve last year. On that occasion 54,000 people had to leave their homes after a 3.8 tonne British bomb was found in the southern city.
It is relatively common for unexploded bombs to be found during building work in urban areas in Germany.
In May 50,000 people had to leave their homes in Hanover during a bomb disposal operation. Meanwhile in July evacuations took place in Hildesheim and Stuttgart while explosives specialists disposed of Second World War bombs.


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