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article imageWWII bomb neutralized in France, 1,500 evacuated

By Leigh Goessl     Mar 19, 2012 in World
Marseille - Over the weekend French officials evacuated 1,500 residents in the southern France city of Marseille so bomb experts could neutralize a World War II bomb that was found.
Time reported the ordnance dates back to World War II and is a 1-ton German bomb. The explosive was found a week ago by construction workers after a backhoe had inadvertently pieced the bomb when digging.
Reportedly, the bomb's ignition system is broken, however the amount of explosives contained within the explosive makes dealing with the armament a very risky undertaking.
Officials cleared the area on Sunday and halted both road and boat traffic from coming into the vicinity as experts worked to diffuse the bomb in several phases.
According to LaProvence (via MSNBC and translated LaProvence page via Google Translate), at about 9 a.m. local time, officials began closing off roads and evacuating people out of the area to prepare for experts to work on the bomb. The French publication gives a running timeline of what occurred.
The neutralization was successful and the bomb was transported to Canjuers military camp to be destroyed. The Associated Press (via The Columbus Dispatch) noted the German military seemingly buried the bomb at a point in order to destroy the city's port as the soldiers retreated the area.
Finding old munitions in Europe is not uncommon, although some of the bombs are large. In Dec. 2011, Digital Journal reported German officials evacuated 45,000 individuals in the city of Koblenz after British Royal Air Force munitions were found. In this was a 2-ton bomb, packing 3,000 pounds of explosives.
More about WwII, WW II bomb, France, Evacuation, neutralize bomb
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