Conflict & Justice

WWII bomb to be detonated, Koblenz evacuates (VIDEO)


Officials work to detonate a WWII bomb discovered in the Rhine.


Associated Press

A 10-foot WWII bomb discovered in the Rhine is set to be detonated on Sunday, causing about 45,000 citizens of Koblenz to evacuate the German city, BBC reported

The bomb, which was dropped by the RAF during the Second World War, was revealed after the water levels of the Rhine fell to an all-time low due to a November dry spell. The evacuation is the largest in Germany's post-war history, and includes seven nursing homes, two hospitals and a prison. Almost half of Koblenz's population (around 120,000 people) is being evacuated to a safe zone a mile away from the bomb, which is capable of destroying an entire city block, The Daily Mail reported.

The area has been blocked off by hundreds of sandbags, and the remainder of the water will be pumped out Sunday morning. It is expected to take several hours to make the bomb safe. 

The low water levels have already revealed four other unexploded bombs. An aerial bomb was found a few kilometers down river in Neuwie, which required around 1,000 people to evacuate, The Daily Mail reported. A smaller US bomb that was discovered is also expected to be detonated on Sunday, BBC reported.

Residents have been notified of the evacuation by flier, and have been encouraged to close their businesses and homes and pull shutters down if possible. Officials will also be going door-to-door on Sunday to assure that everyone is out of harm's way. 

Koblenz was a center for German operations during World War II, and was hit repeatedly by air raids carried out by RAF and U.S. bombers, The Daily Mail reported.

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