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Experts blow up 550-pound WWII bomb found in Munich

Police in Munich say experts successfully detonated the remains of a 550-pound bomb from the Second World War on Tuesday evening.

Updated at 6:56 p.m. ET: MAINZ, Germany -- Nearly 3,000 residents were evacuated from the heart of Munich after construction workers found an undetonated, 550-pound World War II bomb.

The evacuation, which affected several blocks in the busy party district of Schwabing, was ordered by local officials as a routine security measure.

Citing the dapd news agency, The Associated Press reported that explosives experts detonated the remains of the bomb on Tuesday night. Burning debris from the controlled explosion reportedly caused fires in several nearby buildings that had been evacuated.


On Monday night, experts from the Munich bomb disposal squad determined that the explosives were not equipped with a “normal mechanism,” but a chemical, delayed-action detonator.

"It is an extremely dangerous device," Roman Leitow, a Munich fire department spokesman told NBC News.

“A specialist is presently trying to defuse the bomb with his team,” he added.

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Fire department officials went from door-to-door to enforce the evacuation, after fire trucks had passed through the streets, instructing residents with loudspeaker announcements to leave their homes immediately.

Marc Mueller / EPA

Diethard Posorski, of the bomb disposal team, stands next to an unexploded WW II bomb which was found at a construction site in Munich, Germany, Monday.

Experts from Munich fire department spent most of Monday night shielding the bomb with sand, bales of straw and other insulating material, which would catch shrapnel and muffle the shock wave in case of an uncontrolled explosion.

Most of the evacuated residents spent the night with friends and family, but about 600 were brought to one of the three temporary shelters set up by in nearby schools by rescue teams. Red Cross workers handed out blankets and drinks.

Massive WWII bomb successfully defused

During World War II, Allied forces dropped nearly 2 million tons of bombs on Germany and experts estimate that between 5 to 15 percent of the bombs did not explode.

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