German authorities defuse huge WWII bomb

November 3, 2013 - 12:05 PM
Germany WWII Bomb

Evacuated people wait in the Westfalen Halle hall in Dortmund, Germany, Sunday Nov. 3, 2013. More than 20,000 people are being evacuated from their homes in the west German city of Dortmund as authorities prepare to defuse a massive bomb left over from World War II. The 4,000-pound (1,800-kilogram) bomb was discovered after experts analyzed old aerial photographs while searching for unexploded ordnance dropped by Allied aircraft over Germany's industrial Ruhr region. (AP Photo/dpa,Marcus Simaitis)

BERLIN (AP) — German authorities safely defused a huge bomb left over from World War II after evacuating large parts of the western city of Dortmund on Sunday.

About 20,000 people were taken to safety before explosives experts moved in to defuse the unexploded 4,000-pound (1,800-kilogram) bomb that was discovered by analyzing old aerial photographs.

The bomb was dropped by Allied aircraft over the Ruhr region — a key industrial center for the Nazis' war machine.

While unexploded World War II-era bombs are regularly discovered in Germany, they are rarely as big as this one.

A similar bomb find two years ago prompted the evacuation of around 45,000 people in the city of Koblenz along the Rhine river.