World War II bomb defused in Germany after mass evacuation

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A road is closed for public traffic in Dortmund, Germany, Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020. Thousands of people are evacuating in the western Germany city of Dortmund as experts are getting ready to defuse up to four bombs from World War II. (Henning Kaiser/dpa via AP)

BERLIN – Two World War II bombs were successfully defused in the western German city of Dortmund on Sunday, hours after thousands of people were evacuated from the surrounding area, officials said.

The bombs were 250-kilogram (330-pound) American and British bombs. Authorities initially thought they had detected four bombs, but later clarified that only two were found.

Authorities had evacuated two hospitals and opened schools for residents who had to leave their homes. City officials had asked about 14,000 people to leave the areas where the bombs were buried.

The city's train station had also been shut down and trains were rerouted. Before experts defused the two bombs, helicopters patrolled overhead to ensure everyone had evacuated.

Almost 75 years after the end of the war, unexploded bombs are frequently found in Germany. Disposing of them sometimes entails large-scale evacuations as a precaution.