Berlin WWII bomb sparks mass evacuation

Berlin WWII bomb

Berlin: A large-scale evacuation is to take place in Berlin on Friday to allow experts to defuse a World War II bomb, police said.

The area to be cleared includes Berlin Hauptbahnhof — the central railway station, an army hospital, the economy and transport ministries and the embassies of Indonesia and Uzbekistan, the BBC quoted the German police as saying.

Rail company Deutsche Bahn and other transport operators have warned of large-scale disruption for trains, trams and buses in the area.

The police say there is no immediate danger from the 500 kg British bomb, which was found on Heidestrasse last Wednesday. The operation to defuse the device will take place around midday, the BBC said.

The buildings will be cleared from 9 a.m. in an 800m radius from the construction site where the bomb was discovered.

Flights to and from Tegel airport — about 7km away — will not be affected, authorities said on Thursday, although planes coming in to land will avoid flying over the site.

Thousands of unexploded bombs from the 1939-45 war are found every year.

Tegel, which is Berlin’s busiest airport, was briefly closed in August 2017 after the discovery of a Russian World War II bomb. In September, patients at hospitals in Frankfurt were evacuated to allow the controlled explosion of another huge wartime bomb.