World War II bomb removal forces mass evacuation in Germany
Bomb disposal specialists on Sunday began work on removing a British bomb dropped on the western German city of Paderborn during World War II, forcing thousands of residents to temporarily leave their residences, Deutsche Welle reports.
Buildings within a 1.5-kilometer (0.93-mile) radius of the bomb were to be evacuated, including two hospitals, several homes for the elderly, the university and parts of the historic old town. Emergency shelters have been set up, and more than 1,000 volunteers are helping emergency services organize the evacuation.
The evacuation was to be completed by noon local time (1000 UTC) to enable the disposal work to take place. However, police said there had been a delay in removing people from the danger zone, meaning that the defusing of the bomb had had to be postponed.
According to the originnaly planned timing of the operation, people will be allowed to return to their homes at around 5 p.m. local time
The bomb, which was found in a garden last month during construction work (above photo), would cause major damage if it were to go off, as it is buried only 80 centimeters (31.5 inches) deep.