April 20, 2018 / 8:25 AM / 3 months ago

German police defuse WW2 bomb after evacuating central Berlin

BERLIN (Reuters) - Bomb disposal experts defused a World War Two bomb in Berlin on Friday after evacuating an area in the heart of Berlin including the central train station, a hospital and the Economy Ministry.

A bomb defusing team pose next to a 500-kilogram World War II bomb near the main train station in Berlin, Germany, April 20, 2018 in this handout photo posted by the Berlin Police on Twitter. Courtesy @polizeiberlin_e /Twitter/Handout via REUTERS.

The 500-kg British bomb was discovered during building work this week, more than seven decades after the end of World War Two.

The bomb defusing team talks with media next to dismantled World War Two bomb at a construction site near the central train station in Berlin, Germany, April 20, 2018. REUTERS/Axel Schmidt

Some 10,000 people - including residents, hospital patients and office workers - were evacuated from 9 a.m. from buildings within an 800 metre radius of the bomb while experts performed the delicate operation.

Police posted a video on Twitter showing officers walking up the stairs in an apartment building with the caption: “We’re not bringing room service or breakfast in bed but a personal wake-up call.”

The gave the all the clear in the early afternoon and the city began getting back to normal.

Slideshow (8 Images)

Long-distance and local train transport at the central station was disrupted for several hours but police said on Twitter that the station had now re-opened. Bus and tram services also restarted.

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

Some roads were closed but were due to gradually reopen.

Germany still discovers more than 2,000 tonnes of live bombs and munitions every year.

Last 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.

Reporting by Michelle Martin; additional reporting by Laura Dubois; Editing by Toby Chopra and Alison Williams

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