Mass Planned Evacuation Takes Place in Central Berlin Over WWII Bomb


German police experts work during the disposal operations of a bomb dropped during World War II on April 20, 2018 near the Hauptbahnhof main railway station in Berlin's Mitte district.

A large-scale evacuation is to take place in Berlin this morning (Apr. 20) to allow experts to defuse a World War Two bomb.

The evacuation area included the Natural History Museum, the BND intelligence agency, a clinic of the Charite Hospital and an army hospital.

Authorities have declared an exclusion zone with an 800-meter radius around the site located just north of the central railway station, a transport hub that on a normal day is used by 300,000 passengers. Flights were not canceled, but landing planes were told to avoid flying over the bomb site.

Esen Coskon, 50, who was at one of the shelters with his 22-year-old son, Furkan, said he learnt of the evacuation from the media and police, who had sent leaflets to every home. "The station will be completely closed down, all trains will be diverted", Deutsche-Welle's Rebecca Ritters reported.

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Buses, trams and local train services in Berlin were also disrupted and the road where the 500kg bomb was discovered during building work has been closed.

Chancellor Angela Merkel's office and Germany's parliament building are close by, but outside the zone. Berlin was reduced to ruins in 1945 and about 3000 unexploded bombs are believed to be still lying buried in the city.

Police wrote on Twitter on Wednesday that the bomb was in a safe condition and there was not causing any immediate danger.

Police said the 100-kilogram (220-pound) Soviet bombs were found in a field in the town of Sturovo.

Previous year some 60,000 people were evacuated from their homes in Frankfurt after a massive bomb dropped by Britain's Royal Air Force was unearthed.