Defusing a World War II bomb - for the Hessian explosive ordnance clearance service, this is downright routine. A dud in downtown Hanau is more complicated than initially thought.
Hanau (dpa/lhe) - There were delays in the defusing of a 250-kilogram World War II bomb in Hanau on Wednesday. "Unfortunately, a controlled demolition is necessary," said a spokesman for the city of the German Press Agency. That should come in the evening. The experts from the ordnance clearance service could not defuse the explosive device without detonating it as initially planned.
The explosive ordnance clearance service was able to remove one detonator, but not the second. This also extends the evacuation of the danger area - since Wednesday morning, around 16,000 people have had to leave their homes within a radius of 750 meters of the site. The city said on Twitter that the area would remain closed until at least 10 p.m. The emergency accommodation for affected citizens who cannot stay with friends or relatives will remain in the Main-Kinzig-Halle.
Around 3,000 employees of the Heraeus technology group were also affected by the evacuation. The dud had been discovered the day before during demolition work on its premises. The employees then left the premises on Tuesday and did not come to work on Wednesday.
The police had been going from house to house since 8 a.m., informing people about the measures and asking them to leave the buildings within the security radius.
A hospital also had to be partially cleared, most of the measures had already begun the day before. Of the 550 patients who were in the house, 100 were discharged as planned, said a spokeswoman for the hospital. Another 100 people, whose admission was actually planned, were therefore canceled. 70 patients came to another hospital or to a community center. After an inspection by the explosive ordnance clearance service, 180 patients could have stayed in the clinic, it said. Including intensive care patients who were moved to a rear part of the building. It was initially not foreseeable when clinic operations would return to normal.
Residents of an old people's center were also temporarily brought to a hall. Several schools and day-care centers were also affected. The Main-Kinzig-Halle, where around 70 people were staying in the morning, also served as an emergency shelter. The fire brigade announced on Twitter that people with walking disabilities would be taken to collection points and that numerous volunteer helpers were ready.
There were also road closures in the security area around the site. In addition to car traffic, a number of Hanau bus lines were affected, as the Rhein-Main-Verkehrsverbund announced on its website. There were also restrictions on the regional train line RB49 from Hanau to Friedberg. Here the section between the Hanau main station and the north station was closed because of the defusing. Replacement buses drove there, alternatively bus line 2 could also be used.