More than 50,000 residents in the northwestern German city of Hanover were evacuated from their homes on Sunday –about 10 percent of the city’s entire population – as three unexploded bombs from World War II were removed from a construction site in the town’s center.

Officials had initially suspected that two more bombs were buried beneath a nearby park, but a search on Sunday turned up nothing.

By 6pm local time (1600 UTC), residents were allowed to return to their homes.

There was a brief scare Sunday when bomb-disposal experts struggled to defuse one of the bombs manually due to its damaged fuse. A water jet cutter was brought in and used to open up the bomb and defuse it.

On October 9, 1943, some 261,000 bombs were dropped on the city by Allied forces, with many unexploded bombs still assumed to be scattered across the country.

Seventy years after the end of World War II, such finds and evacuations are not uncommon in Germany. Authorities are under pressure to remove unexploded ordnance from populated areas, as the bombs become more dangerous with the passing of time due to material fatigue.

An unexploded World War II bomb forced 54,000 Germans to evacuate on Christmas

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Deutschland Bombenentschärfung in Hannover (picture-alliance/dpa/P. Steffen)World War II bomb recoveries and the necessary evacuations are not uncommon in Germany.

 

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