By: Erica Beachum
In Germany on Sunday, December 4, bomb squads defused a bomb that was found along the Rhine River which was found to be from the World War II era. Once the bomb was found, Berlin required an evacuation of 45,000 residents within a two kilometer radius of the bomb.
Inside of that two kilometer radius, those evacuated were 200 inmates, seven nursing homes and two hospitals. Luckily, nobody was injured. The fire brigade had alerted the residents in advance that one of the bombs may have exploded.
The bomb was found along with a 275 pound bomb from the United States and a smoke grenade. It was found on the Rhine River after the water level had sunk due to lack of rain. All of the bombs were defused on Sunday, though the World War II bomb was defused in fifteen minutes.
“It’s the largest German evacuation since the end of the war,” fire brigade, Ronald Epelsheim, says. Half of the population of Koblenz was evacuated. If there had been any more bombs, the whole city would have to have been evacuated.
“Please close your houses and apartments, close your windows, and if possible, the shutters. Please think of brining sufficient quantity of any medicine you might need.” This is what the residents were told over radio transmissions and leaflets while being evacuated. City officials went door-to-door in the city to double check if anybody had failed to leave.
The city of Koblenz is used to bomb threats. Officials say that there have been nearly 28 scares in the city since 1999. Bomb detonation is common in Germany. Last year, a bomb killed three members of a bomb-disposal crew. Three of the bombs have been defused as of now.