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World War II bomb find sparks evacuation in Berlin

21 April 2018

Some 10,000 residents and workers were being forced to leave a two-square-kilometer (almost a square mile) area, including the train station, while bomb experts defuse the 500-kilogram (1,100-pound) British bomb dropped during the war. All streets in this area will be closed off. Travel disruption is expected around the area and at the central train station. Authorities have declared an exclusion zone with an 800 metre (875 yards) 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.

Police finally gave the all-clear in the afternoon, after experts successfully disabled the bomb.

Chancellor Angela Merkel's office and Germany's parliament building are close by, but outside the zone.

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Berlin isn't the only German city to be evacuated because of war relics.

The deactivation of the bomb is scheduled to begin at 11.30am but it is not known how long it will take.

"Everything went smoothly without complications, and by the book", said police explosives expert Engin Laumer after the 500kg bomb had been defused.

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DW reporter Rebecca Ritters was at the scene in Berlin and said the discovery of unexploded bombs was not uncommon in Germany with more than 2,000 tonnes of bombs and live ammunition unearthed across the country every year. Trains will run straight through the central railway station without stopping from 0800 GMT, and all rail traffic there will cease from 0930 GMT, said operator Deutsche Bahn.

More than 363 bombing raids were carried out on Berlin during the Second World War.

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World War II bomb find sparks evacuation in Berlin