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Germany WW II Bomb

German authorities evacuated 60,000 residents ahead of a WWII bomb disposal operation

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More than 60,000 people were forced to evacuate their homes in Frankfurt, Germany, Sunday ahead of a World War II bomb disposal operation.

Construction workers found a 4,000-pound, British-made bomb on Tuesday close to the Goethe University Frankfurt compound, CNN reports. Police said the bomb's size made an extensive evacuation necessary. As a result, officials ordered residents within nearly a mile radius of the site to evacuate.

Hospital patients and the elderly are among those affected in what will be Germany's biggest evacuation in recent history. Dozens of ambulances picked up those who were unable to leave the danger zone on their own.

Frankfurt fire brigade spokesman Markus Röck told CNN the evacuation went smoothly and bomb disposal experts are expected to begin the operation around midday.

"The situation is relaxed which is a good sign and everything so far is going according to plan," Röck said. "We will now assess if everybody has left voluntarily and go from house to house and remove people if necessary."

Röck added that shelters have been set up for all evacuees who are unable to stay with friends or family during the bomb disposal operation. The city has also offered free entry to its museums "to help those affected to spend a few hours without worrying," Frankfurt's Mayor Peter Feldmann said in a statement.

Although WWII ended over 70 years ago, bomb disposal operations like this one are not uncommon. More than 50,000 people were evacuated from Hanover, Germany, in May when a bomb was discovered.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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