WWII bombs defused in German city

Dec. 4, 2011 at 11:30 AM
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KOBLENZ, Germany, Dec. 4 (UPI) -- Officials in Germany gave the all-clear Sunday after defusing two World War II bombs discovered in the Rhine River.

The aging ordnance was found in the city of Koblenz where the water level in the Rhine fell enough to reveal them.

Bomb disposal experts said they safely defused a 275-pound U.S. bomb and a British blockbuster bomb that weighed in at nearly 2 tons. The BBC said the smaller American bomb was considered the more dangerous of the two.

Sunday's operation was called the biggest bomb-disposal operation in Germany since 1945. It required the evacuation of about 45,000 people within 1.25 miles of the site and had some 500 emergency vehicles on stand-by in case of an explosion.

Although the defusing went smoothly, the entire incident was traumatic. One resident told the German newspaper Die Welt it brought back terrible memories for an elderly relative.

"She lived through nights of bombing in World War II, and now it is all coming back to her," she said.

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