Residents evacuated from two German cities ahead of bomb disposals

Residents evacuated from two German cities ahead of bomb disposals”

Emergency service staff yesterday started to evacuate patients from two hospitals in Frankfurt, Germany's financial capital, ahead of the planned defusing of a massive World War II bomb.

The ongoing evacuation of some 70,000 people in Frankfurt on Saturday was the largest operation of its kind in post-war Germany. In Koblenz, about 21,000 were displaced from homes, a prison, and a hospital as specialists defused a 1,100-pound United States bomb Saturday.

Residents in two German cities are evacuating their homes as authorities prepare to dispose of World War II-era bombs found during construction work this week.

More than 100 hospital patients, including premature infants and those in intensive care, were evacuated yesterday, Frankfurt city councillor Markus Frank told Reuters television.

More than 2,000 tonnes of live bombs and munitions are found each year in Germany. "It's not just fragments that are the problem, but also the pressure that it creates that would dismantle all the buildings in a 100m radius". The explosive is known as an HC 4000, which the British referred to as the "blockbuster bomb" during the war for its devastating power to level whole city blocks when deployed.

Police said they couldn't begin defusing the bomb until they were sure everyone had left the area. Also, small private planes, helicopters and drones will be banned from the evacuation zone, they said.

Frankfurters can spend the day at shelters set up at the trade fair and the Jahrhunderthalle convention center, police have said. Museums and other cultural institutions said they would offer free admission and keep longer hours to give displaced residents something to do over the weekend after being forced out of their homes.

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