Germany explodes huge WWII bomb in Munich (PHOTOS, VIDEO)
Authorities performed a controlled detonation of a 250 kilogram, WWII-era bomb in the heart of one of Germany’s largest cities.
Thousands of Munich residents had to be evacuated before the explosion, which was found under a nightclub famous for being a choice hangout of the Rolling Stones in the 1970s, could be set off.
But despite all the precautions, the explosion still caused massive damages – and it’s still unclear who will pay for the shattered windows, busted doors and burnt-out buildings.
Bomb tech experts placed straw matting around the bomb, which swirled upwards in the vortex of heat created by the blast and set the roofs of five nearby buildings on fire.
Thirty fire engines and 200 firemen were on site to battle the blazes.
“Virtually all the window panes around the area have gone, but luckily no one was injured, and that is the main thing,” said Diethard Posorski, head of the team that carried out the explosion – which was heard all over the city of 1.4 million.
Gunether Sobieralski, a veteran bomb disposal expert who has defused 100 Allied devices in the past few years, was flown to Munich for his advice on dealing with this one.
The plan was to blow up the detonator only, but in the end it was decided to destroy the entire bomb for safety reasons. Hours after the blast, the first of nearly 3,000 evacuated people were allowed to return to their houses and apartments. However, many more still have no idea when they’ll be able to go home, as police are still assessing the damage caused by the blast.
A crater is pictured at the Schwabing residential area in downtown Munich August 29, 2012. Bomb experts blew up a 250-kilo World War II bomb on Tuesday night, after they decided they could not defuse it. (REUTERS/Michael Dalder)