German experts defuse half-ton World War II bomb found in Frankfurt

A masked policeman stands in the middle of a street flanked by parked cars and buildings.
A policeman at the scene of the discovery of a World War II-era bomb in a residential area of Frankfurt, Germany.
(Frank Rumpenhorst / DPA)

German explosives experts successfully defused and disposed of a 1,100-pound bomb Sunday that was dropped during World War II and discovered during recent construction in the southern city of Frankfurt.

About 13,000 residents were evacuated from the city’s Gallus district, and trains were stopped from running through the area as Hesse state experts went to work on the bomb.

Frankfurt is Germany’s financial center and home to the headquarters of the European Central Bank.


Even 75 years after the end of World War II, such finds are relatively common in Germany, a testament to the ferocity of the conflict. In 2017, discovery of a 4,000-pound British bomb known as a “blockbuster” for its ability to destroy entire streets forced the evacuation of 65,000 people in Frankfurt.

The latest bomb was found during construction Thursday. Experts had estimated that they would need at least six hours to defuse it, but they were able to complete their work in under two hours, Germany’s DPA news agency reported.

By evening, railway company Deutsche Bahn said trains were running again, and residents were able to return to their homes. About 700 evacuees who were unable to find places to stay with friends or family during the sappers’ operation were looked after in Frankfurt’s convention center.