Disposal of four WWII bombs in Göttingen soothes memories of 2010 tragedy

Disposal of four WWII bombs in Göttingen soothes memories of 2010 tragedy
The evacuation zone in Göttingen. Photo: DPA
Some 8,000 residents of the city of Göttingen have been able to return home after a bomb disposal unit defused four WWII bombs discovered during building work.

The last bomb was detonated by the explosive ordnance disposal service at around 1 am on Sunday morning, according to a spokesman for the city.

Göttingen has in the past had tragic experience with a bomb defusal operation. 

In 2010, three employees of the local Explosive Ordnance Disposal Service died when a bomb they were trying to defuse exploded. 

The memory of that disaster was on everyone’s minds this weekend, city spokesman Dominik Kimyon said.

“That incident was of course hovering over everything and shaped the mood. Now everyone is very relieved,” he said.

There are huge numbers of unexploded WWII bombs still lying under the ground in German cities, with evacuations regularly occurring after the ordnance is found during building work.

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The four ten-ton WWII bombs were found during building work in Göttingen last week.

An evacuation zone with a radius of 1,000 meters was subsequently set up around the site where the bombs were found. 

More than 8,000 people had to leave their homes on Saturday, January 30th.

A total of around 260 people were provided with accommodation in several evacuation centres.

The rest of the evacuees stayed with relatives and friends. Corona regulations were temporarily suspended.

According to the city, there were no casualties during the planned detonations. However, window panes in two nearby buildings were shattered by the blast wave from the explosion

Residents were not allowed to return immediately, as exploration teams first checked the surrounding area for more explosive devices.

It was only after about two hours that most residents were given the all-clear and the exclusion zone was reopened.

SEE ALSO: What you need to know about WWII bomb disposals in Germany


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