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Old 03-04-13, 11:55   #1
 
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Red Arrow Experts Defuse Unexploded WWII Bomb in Central Berlin

Updated 7:31 AM EDT, Wed April 3, 2013


Berlin (CNN) -- Bomb disposal experts have successfully disabled a World War II bomb discovered near the main station in the German capital, Berlin, police said Wednesday.

Dozens of homes in central Berlin were evacuated ahead of the delicate operation to remove the bomb's mechanical fuse.

In total, 839 people were evacuated as police cleared an area within a 300-yard radius of the bomb.

The 100-kilogram (220 pound) device was a Russian aerial bomb dropped during World War II, police said.

"They do risk a lot, but they have a lot of experience," Berlin police spokesman Jens Berger said as the bomb disposal team set to work.

"Here in Berlin it is a fact of daily life to defuse bombs, but without question they are risking a lot."

The latest device was found on Heidestrasse, a lightly populated street with an industrial feel in the former "no man's land" between East Berlin and West Berlin.

The operation to defuse it was made more complicated because there's a depot for freight trains on one side and houses on the other, Berger said.

The device was found Tuesday afternoon by a bomb disposal team that was checking out a construction site near the Hauptbahnhof, the central station. Roads were closed in the area overnight.

Some train services were delayed Wednesday, Deutsche Bahn spokesman Holger Auferkamp said, but Berlin's metro system, or S-Bahn, has not been affected.

Many unexploded bombs dropped by Allied forces during World War II remain undiscovered in Berlin and other cities some seven decades later.

Private bomb disposal teams are contracted by German railway operator Deutsche Bahn and other companies to check that sites are safe when building works are planned.

Some bigger devices have been found elsewhere.

A 250-kilogram (550 pound) bomb discovered in central Munich last August had to be detonated where it lay because the fuse was unstable. The explosion caused some damage to nearby buildings.
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