23,000 evacuated after WWII-era bomb found in Italy

By Susan McFarland  |  March 14, 2018 at 11:54 AM
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March 14 (UPI) -- A new discovery in central Italy of an unexploded bomb from World War II led authorities to evacuate 23,000 people, officials said.

The bomb was found Tuesday as construction crews were working in Fano, in the Marche region about 125 miles east of Florence.

Fano Mayor Massimo Seri ordered the evacuation of all residents within a 1.1-mile radius -- while the Italian navy moved the bomb, which packed about 500 pounds of TNT. A portion of the Fano hospital also was evacuated.

By early Wednesday, the bomb had been taken out to sea, where it'll stay for at least six days. If it doesn't explode, it will be detonated.

Seri in a Facebook post praised the operation and noted "a special and highly risky joint operation of the army and navy."

Unexploded WWI- and WWII-era bombs have been found in Europe before -- in rivers, buildings and dug up by dogs. In north Italy, a man once found a bomb hidden in a home he inherited.

Last month, London City Airport was shut down after a bomb turned up in the River Thames. In January, thousands were evacuated in Hong Kong after authorities found an unexploded bomb there.

Two were found in Germany last year.

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