A city in Germany has evacuated around 260 people to defuse seven World War II US-style duds that were found on an exploratory site.
Seven contact fuse bombs, out of which four were five-hundredweight and three were one-hundredweight, were discovered on a private property in the Cologne-Rondorf area in the city of Cologne in Germany on 24th June.
The first aerial bombs of such kind to ever be delivered to their targets by air were single bombs carried on unmanned hot air balloons, launched by the Austrians against Venice in 1849 during the First Italian War of Independence.
According to online sources, it was estimated that during WWII about 10 percent of German bombs failed to detonate, and that Allied bombs had a failure rate of 15 to 20 percent, especially if they hit soft soil and used a pistol-type detonating mechanism rather than fuses.
In addition, thousands of unexploded bombs which may be able to detonate are discovered every year, particularly in Germany, and have to be defused or detonated in a controlled explosion, in some cases requiring evacuation of thousands of people beforehand.
An onsite analysis by the Bomb Disposal Service (KBD) and the public order office of the city of Cologne revealed that the danger zone covered a 500-metre (1640 ft) radius after which the city ordered an immediate deactivation of the areal bombs.
Additionally, the city authorities decided to evacuate a total of 260 citizens to secure the site and avoid casualties, and scheduled the bomb deactivation for noon the same day.
A city spokesperson reported: “When all people leave the evacuation area and the ambulance transports are completed, the public order office will give approval to defuse.”
At 1.20 pm, the city reported that five of the bombs had been defused while the other two had to be detonated in a controlled environment without any expected difficulties.
Residents were then allowed to return to their houses and apartments.