WWII bomb causes two cities to be evacuated

German authorities prepare to dispose of WW2 bomb

The evacuation area includes the central bank where $70 billion in gold reserves are stored.

A police vehicle next to a blue tent covering a British World War II bomb in Frankfurt.

More than 80,000 people in two German cities were ordered to leave their homes as authorities prepared to dispose of two World War II-era bombs found during construction last week.

Many of those who have been forced to leave have been offered space in a temporary centre at the site of Frankfurt's trade fair.

Police set up cordons around the evacuation area, which covered a radius of 1.5 kilometers, as residents hauling suitcases or riding bicycles left the zone.

German authorities prepare to dispose of WW2 bomb
Thousands of People Evacuate Homes in Frankfurt, Germany Before WWII Bomb Defused

Premature babies and intensive care patients had to be evacuated along with everyone else from two hospitals and rescue workers helped about 500 elderly people leave residences and care homes. If that fails they will try to cut the fuses away with a water jet.

The British bomb is a 1.4 ton HC 4000 air mine, according to the statement. Officials said it would take four hours to disarm the bomb.

And, although it's not unusual for live bombs and munition to be uncovered in Germany - 2,000 tonnes are found each year, even under buildings - it's rare for them to be so large and found in such a sensitive position.

In a show of public spirit, museums are opening their doors for free to provide evacuees with a place to spend the day.

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