WWII bomb defused near Berlin's main train station
German sappers successfully defused a World War II bomb unearthed near Berlin's main train station in a delicate operation that snarled rail and road traffic for several hours on Wednesday.
The 100-kilogramme (220-pound) explosive was dropped by an Allied plane during the Second World War and discovered Tuesday, a police spokesman told AFP, adding that experts believed it was a Soviet-made bomb.
"The operation to defuse the device took about half an hour," the spokesman said. "Everything went according to plan."
The bomb was found about 1.5 kilometres (0.9 miles) north of the main station and the rail operator, Deutsche Bahn, said up to 50 regional and long-distance trains had to be re-directed to other hubs for nearly four hours.
Suburban trains were unaffected and the main station itself remained open. However residents in the immediate area were ordered to evacuate as a precaution, streets were cordoned off and ship traffic on a neighbouring canal was stopped.
More than six decades after the war, authorities believe there are still some 3,000 bombs buried beneath Berlin alone, and unexploded devices are regularly discovered in construction work.
In June 2010, a 500-kilo Allied bomb, thought to be British, exploded and killed three German sappers, and seriously injured two others in the central city of Goettingen as they prepared to defuse it.