Thousands Evacuated in Dortmund Over Threat of WW2-Era Bombs

Dortmund Suspected WWII bombs in city centre prompt evacuation

Two Second World War bombs were successfully defused in the western German city of Dortmund on Sunday, hours after thousands of people were evacuated from the surrounding area, officials said.

Following a mass evacuation of some 14,000 residents from their homes in Germany's Dortmund, two unexploded bombs from World War II discovered in the city were defused by experts on Sunday.

Dortmund authorities said in a statement that they had identified four sites in the city where explosive ordinance left by Allied forces may still be hidden underground. However, they later confirmed the existence of only two potentially explosive bombs.

Preparations were already in full swing on Saturday, with 58 patients evacuated by ambulance from two hospitals.

In addition to the hospitals and residential areas, the famous football museum of Dortmund was closed on Sunday, DW reporter Elliot Douglas wrote on Twitter.


German newspaper Deutsche Welle notes that defusing unexploded ordnance prior to construction across Germany is fairly common since around 10% of ordnance dropped during the war rammed into the earth without exploding.

Last September a 250-kilo bomb was made safe in Hanover, with 15,000 people evacuated.

Although it was planned in advance, city authorities called it "one of the largest evacuations in the post-war period".

In 2017, around 65,000 people were temporarily evacuated - the largest such operation since 1945 - when a huge British bomb weighing 1.4 tons was discovered in Frankfurt.

Germany remains the home of thousands of unexploded bombs as a result of intense bombardment by allied forces against Nazi Germany.

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