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Berlin set for mass evacuation as WW2 bomb is defused

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A large-scale evacuation is to take place in Berlin on Friday morning to allow experts to defuse a World War Two bomb.

Buildings will be cleared from 09:00 (07:00 GMT) in an 800m (2,625ft) radius from the construction site where the bomb was discovered.

The zone includes government ministries, a hospital and the city’s central railway station.

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

Police say there is no immediate danger from the 1,100lb (500kg) British bomb, which was found on Heidestrasse last Wednesday.

How much of a threat are unexploded bombs?
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, according to police quoted by AFP news agency.

It is understood the operation to defuse the device will take place around midday.

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

Flights to and from Tegel airport – about 7km (4.5 miles) away – will not be affected, authorities said on Thursday, although planes coming in to land will avoid flying over the site.

Tegel, which is Berlin’s busiest airport, was briefly closed last August after the discovery of a Russian World War Two bomb.

Last September, patients at hospitals in Frankfurt were evacuated to allow the controlled explosion of another huge wartime bomb.

Other WW2 bombs discovered in Germany
-May 2017: 50,000 people were evacuated from Hannover while three British-made bombs were defused
-December 2016: More than 50,000 evacuated in Augsburg over 1.8-tonne British explosive
-May 2015: 20,000 people in Cologne forced to leave their homes after a one-tonne bomb was discovered
-January 2012: A construction worker was killed when his digger hit an unexploded bomb in Euskirchen
-December 2011: 45,000 people were evacuated from Koblenz – half the total population – after two bombs were found in the riverbed of the Rhine
-June 2010: Three members of a bomb disposal squad were killed in Göttingen during an operation to defuse a bomb found on a building site

[Source: BBC]
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