WWII bomb forces mass evacuation in central Berlin

2018-04-20 12:34
Empty stairs are pictured at the main train station in Berlin, Germany. (Michael Sohn, AP)

Empty stairs are pictured at the main train station in Berlin, Germany. (Michael Sohn, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

The planned disposal of an unexploded World War II bomb on Friday will force a mass evacuation around Berlin's central railway station and likely spark transport chaos in the German capital.

Trains, trams, buses and even some flights at the city's Tegel airport will be halted when a police bomb squad starts defusing the British 500kg bomb unearthed on a building site.

Authorities have declared an exclusion zone with an 800m radius around the site located just north of the central railway station, a transport hub that on a normal day is used by 300 000 passengers.

The exclusion zone covers the train station, an army hospital, the economy ministry, an art gallery and a museum as well as part of the BND intelligence service's new headquarters.

Many thousands of residents and employees will have to stay clear of, or leave the area by 09:00 local time (07:00 GMT), and not return until the bomb is safely defused.

Angela Merkel's chancellery building and the Reichstag (parliament) lie just a few hundred metres to the south of the no-go zone and therefore can keep operating as usual.

Bomb disposal

More than 70 years after the end of the war, unexploded bombs are regularly found, a potentially deadly legacy of the intense Allied bombing campaign against Nazi Germany.

Some 3 000 are believed to still lie buried in Berlin, a city of three million people, where bomb disposal squads are well-practiced in defusing them and other ordnance.

It was unclear how long the bomb disposal squad would take to disable the bomb found during construction work on Heidestrasse in the district of Mitte.

"It depends on how long the evacuation takes and of course the condition of the bomb," police spokesperson Martin Halweg told the Tagesspiegel daily.

Police, who issued the warning on Wednesday, have asked residents to stay with family or friends or head to one of two emergency shelters set up at nearby schools.

They said the bomb was "safe for now", reassuring nearby residents that "there is no immediate danger".

Urban transport operators prepared for large-scale disruptions around the central hub.

Trains will run straight through the central railway station without stopping from 08:00 GMT, and all rail traffic there will cease from 09:30 GMT, said operator Deutsche Bahn.

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news by subscribing to our FREE newsletter.

- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter

Read more on:    germany

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.