50,000 remain displaced after WWII bombs found in Germany

About 50,000 people were evacuated from throughout Hanover, Germany, including New City Hall (pictured) as crews attempted to defuse multiple unexploded World War II bombs. Photo courtesy of Thomas Wolf/Wikimedia Commons

May 7 (UPI) — The more than 50,000 people evacuated from a town in Germany after several unexploded War War II bombs were discovered won’t be able to return home until Monday, officials said.

Hanover officials told residents and businesses to make sure their water, electricity and gas supplies were turned off. The evacuations represent about a 10th of the city’s population.

The evacuation process began Friday night and the deadline to leave town was 9 a.m. Sunday.

A total of 13 unexploded bombs were to be removed. Five were successfully located by midday Saturday.

Bomb disposal expert Chris Hunter said it was “quite a significant incident.” He told Sky News: “We don’t tend to see five at once.”

Hunter said more bombs are being discovered because of increased construction in the area.

He said high-explosives have been dormant for years but they often have booby-trap mechanisms and can detonate at any time.

“It’s inherently dangerous,” he said.

Allied planes bombed Hannover heavily during the war. On Oct. 9, 1943, a total 1,245 people were killed and 250,000 left homeless by 261,000 bombs.

Last Christmas, an 2-ton bomb forced dropped by Britain forced the evacuation of more than 54,000 people out of the southern city of Augsberg. It took four hours for it to be defused.

It was the nation’s biggest evacuation since the second war.

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