Mass Planned Evacuation Takes Place in Central Berlin Over WWII Bomb

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A policeman looks on as a woman pulls a suitcase through a street that is to be evacuated due to the disposal of a World War II bomb close to the Hauptbahnhof main railway station in Berlin's Mitte district on April 20, 2018.

A mass planned evacuation took place early on Friday over an unexploded World War II bomb found near the Central Railway Station, local media reported.

A number of buildings, including the Central Railway Station, Economy Ministry, Federal Intelligence Service (BND), and the Indonesia and Uzbekistan Embassies, were also evacuated.

German rail operator Deutsche Bahn said it expected long-distance rail transport at the central station to be disrupted from 10am to 2pm local time (8am to 12pm Irish time).

Many thousands of residents and employees have been ordered to stay clear of the area and not return until police give the all-clear. The city estimates at least 3,000 bombs, grenades and other munitions are still buried.

"Everything has been well organized. we were told to leave our apartment at 9:00 am".

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

It was found last Wednesday during construction work in Heidestrasse.

About 65,000 residents in Frankfurt were evacuated in September as experts successfully defused an unexploded bomb.

Police said they had no idea as yet how long the operation to defuse the bomb would take and would depend on the condition of the missile.

DW reporter Rebecca Ritters was at the scene in Berlin and said the discovery of unexploded bombs was not uncommon in Germany with more than 2,000 tonnes of bombs and live ammunition unearthed across the country every year.

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