German Town Evacuates Due to Found, Unexploded WWII Bomb

On Sunday in the southern German city of Augsburg, a large World War II aerial bomb was defused by explosive experts after seven long dormant decades. 32,000 households with 54,000 residents in the city’s historic central district were forced to evacuate Christmas morning while experts disabled the three detonators of the 1.8 ton bomb.

The bomb was discovered last week during construction work in the city’s historic central district. Authorities chose Christmas Day for defusing due to less traffic and the better likelihood that people could stay with relatives. Police were able to clear the city by the 10am deadline, and residents were able to return at around 7pm.

Designed by the British forces, the bomb’s purpose was to blow surrounding buildings apart so that accompanying incendiary bombs could start fires more easily. Uncovering World War II bombs is not unusual in Germany. Augsburg’s historic center was destroyed on Feb. 25-26, 1944, when hundreds of British and U.S. bombers attacked the city.

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