Thousands evacuated as German city disposes of World war II bomb

A police ribbon seals off the city centre of Koblenz December 4, 2011. Some 45,000 people, nearly half of the city's population had to be evacuated on Sunday within a 2km radius of a World War II bomb that was found in the partially dried up river Rhine. The defuse of the 1.8 tons bomb that was dropped by the Royal Air Force (RAF) caused the biggest bomb-related evacuation in Germany's post-war history. The bomb was found after water levels fell significantly in Europe’s largest waterway due to a prolonged dry period. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay   (GERMANY - Tags: ENVIRONMENT MILITARY) - RTR2UTON
A police ribbon seals off the city centre of Koblenz December 4, 2011. Some 45,000 people, nearly half of the city's population had to be evacuated on Sunday within a 2km radius of a World War II bomb that was found in the partially dried up river Rhine. The defuse of the 1.8 tons bomb that was dropped by the Royal Air Force (RAF) caused the biggest bomb-related evacuation in Germany's post-war history. The bomb was found after water levels fell significantly in Europe’s largest waterway due to a prolonged dry period. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay (GERMANY - Tags: ENVIRONMENT MILITARY) - RTR2UTON

People living within 250 metres of a World War II bomb discovered during construction work in the German city of Dusseldorf are being evacuated while it is being disposed off.

A police spokesman said officers were checking houses within the exclusion zone on Tuesday to make sure no residents were still at home before work proceeds to dispose off the bomb discovered the day before.

Police were stationed to watch over the site during the night.

According to the city council, some 2,300 people were affected, while a spokesman said on Tuesday that a further 4,400 were ordered to stay at home and not go outdoors until the all-clear signal was given.

Some 80 residents of a care home had to be brought to other facilities as part of the evacuation.

The WWII aerial bomb was due to be defused at 11 a.m. (0900 GMT).

Streets were to be cordoned off around the site and public transport restricted during the operation.

(dpa/NAN)


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