Berlin: WWII bomb defused

2013-04-03 15:50
Experts from the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Service are pictured where a bomb was found alongside the railway line in Berlin. (Johannes Eisele, AFP)

Experts from the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Service are pictured where a bomb was found alongside the railway line in Berlin. (Johannes Eisele, AFP)

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Berlin - German sappers successfully defused a World War II bomb unearthed near Berlin's main train station in a delicate operation that snarled rail and road traffic for several hours on Wednesday.

The 100kg explosive was dropped by an Allied plane during the Second World War and discovered on Tuesday, a police spokesperson said, adding that experts believed it was a Soviet-made bomb.

"The operation to defuse the device took about half an hour," the spokesperson said. "Everything went according to plan."

The bomb was found about 1.5km north of the main station and the rail operator, Deutsche Bahn, said up to 50 regional and long-distance trains had to be re-directed to other hubs for nearly four hours.

Suburban trains were unaffected and the main station itself remained open. However residents in the immediate area were ordered to evacuate as a precaution, streets were cordoned off and ship traffic on a neighbouring canal was stopped.

More than six decades after the war, authorities believe there are still around 3 000 bombs buried beneath Berlin alone, and unexploded devices are regularly discovered in construction work.

In June 2010, a 500kg Allied bomb, thought to be British, exploded and killed three German sappers, and seriously injured two others in the central city of Goettingen as they prepared to defuse it.


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