WWII bomb causes evacuation in Greece

Military officers unload sacks of sand next to a hole in the ground (R), where a 250 kg World War Two bomb was found during excavation works at a gas station, before an operation to defuse it that will take place on Sunday, in Thessaloniki, Greece February 10, 2017. REUTERS/Alexandros Avramidis

Military officers unload sacks of sand next to a hole in the ground (R), where a 250 kg World War Two bomb was found during excavation works at a gas station, before an operation to defuse it that will take place on Sunday, in Thessaloniki, Greece February 10, 2017. REUTERS/Alexandros Avramidis

Authorities in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki evacuated an estimated 75,000 people earlier this month. The cause: a 500-pound unexploded World War II bomb found under a gas station.

Bomb disposal experts began work to diffuse the bomb about 4-1/2 hours after the evacuation began. The experts started work at 11:30 a.m., 90 minutes later than planned, but defused the bomb in only 30 minutes, Central Macedonia governor Apostolos Tzizikostas announced.

“The first phase of the bomb disposal has been a total success,” Tzizikostas announced. “There remains its removal from the site. Residents will still not be allowed in their homes, because the removal and transport contains dangers.”

Reports stated that the unexploded bomb had been one of thousands dropped on the city by English and American planes on Sept. 17, 1944. The Allies were targeting local German rail facilities.

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