Huge war-era bomb dubbed ‘Blockbuster’ successfully defused in Frankfurt

The compulsory evacuation of 60,000 people was Germany’s biggest such manoeuvre since the second world war

PUBLISHED : Monday, 04 September, 2017, 11:41am
UPDATED : Monday, 04 September, 2017, 10:03pm

Bomb disposal experts have defused a huge unexploded second world war-era bomb in the German financial capital Frankfurt that forced the evacuation of more than 60,000 residents.

Hospital patients and the elderly were among those affected in what was Germany’s biggest evacuation in recent history.

Construction workers found the 1.8-tonne British bomb Tuesday. Officials ordered residents to evacuate homes within a 1.5-kilometre radius of the site in Germany’s financial capital.

Dozens of ambulances lined up early Sunday to pick up anyone unable to independently leave the danger zone.

The high capacity HC 4000 bomb, also dubbed a “Blockbuster”, was one of thousands dropped over Germany by the Royal Air Force during the final years of the second world war cripple the Nazi war machine and demoralise the German population.

Authorities warned that if the bomb had exploded, the shock wave could have caused widespread damage throughout the western part of the city.

Unexploded bombs are still found regularly across Germany, even 72 years after the war ended. About 20,000 people were evacuated from the western city of Koblenz before specialists disarmed a 500-kilogram US bomb there Saturday.

Additional reporting by Reuters