Two 250-kilogram World War II bombs defused in Berlin and Koblenz


Two World War II-era bombs discovered during construction work were defused Sunday in Berlin and the western city of Koblenz in operations that also led to the evacuation of 16,000 people.

Experts went to work to defuse a World War II bomb found under the Jewish Museum in central Berlin.

Up to 11,000 residents were advised to leave their homes and police began knocking on doors early in the morning to ensure that the evacuation notice was adhered to, local newspaper Berliner Zeitung reported.

However, the operation was significantly delayed because the evacuations took until the afternoon to be completed.

Shops and cafes remain closed in the area. Public transport was disrupted, including restrictions to two underground lines running eastwards out of the city centre. Bus services were also affected.

Construction workers discovered the 250-kilogram bomb on Friday at the Jewish Museum in the district of Kreuzberg, a popular area among tourists.

Another bomb was found in Koblenz, affecting around 5,000 residents within a 500-metre radius, as a team of experts worked to safely remove the device on Sunday. A bomb disposal team said that the process could take hours due to obscured access.

The unexploded bomb, also weighing 250 kilograms, was uncovered Wednesday buried 4 metres underground during building works at a primary school.

The bomb was defused without incident, the fire service said, and evacuated residents were back in their homes by afternoon.

Unexploded bombs dating back to the aerial bombardments of Germany during World War II are still frequently found. Many local authorities have teams working full-time to detect and defuse them.

The biggest evacuation in Germany since the end of the war took place in 2011, when 45,000 people were forced to temporarily leave parts of Koblenz for the disposal of an unexploded Allied bomb.