Authorities had been digging for two weeks to reach a 500-pound American bomb discovered buried nearly 25 feet under a home in Bochum, North Rhine-Westphalia, in western Germany, The Local.de. reported.
Engineers were ready to diffuse the bomb Monday afternoon after police ordered about 650 people within a 250-meter (820-foot) radius of the bomb to evacuate. Some residents refused to leave and police kicked in the doors of three homes to force them out.
At one unresponsive residence, police forced their way in and found a man dead. The 51-year-old man had been dead "for some time," said a spokesman for the fire service.
The man's mother, who lived with him, had dementia and had not realized he was dead. She was taken into care and her son's body was taken to a hospital, where physicians determined he had died of natural causes.
Bomb removal teams later removed the bomb with a large vacuum-like device. Residents were allowed to return to their homes that evening.