World War II bomb is deactivated in central Berlin


A 100-kilogram American bomb from World War II was deactivated in the early hours of Saturday, June 15, after its discovery in central Berlin, near the iconic Alexanderplatz square, police said.

“The detonator has been destroyed successfully, we are slowly removing the blockades, and [citizens] will be able to return to their homes soon,” police said on Twitter.

After withdrawing 3,000 people from the area on Friday, police said they had encountered some technical problems to disarm the bomb, but that were resolved quickly.

A 300 meter security perimeter had been established.

Discovered near an imposing shopping center, the bomb was dropped by an American bomber, but its detonator remained intact.

Germany has a great deal of experience in such cases, since the discovery of World War II bombs is relatively frequent. Bombs launched by the Allies that did not explode still trigger major operations.

The largest evacuation since 1945 was in September 2017 in Frankfurt, where a massive British bomb was found with a 1.4-tonne explosive charge. About 65,000 people had to leave their homes.

Most of the time, pumps can be deactivated. In rare cases, a “controlled” explosion is necessary.

Berlin suffered heavy bombing campaigns during the war, particularly in the spring of 1945, with one-third of the city’s homes being destroyed and tens of thousands of deaths.

Thousands of unexploded bombs have already been discovered and about 3,000 others remain underground in Berlin, according to experts.

In April 2018, Berlin’s security forces deactivated a 500-kg British bomb. About 10,000 people were withdrawn.