German city evacuated after 1.8 ton WWII bomb discovered

More than 54,000 people were forced to leave the southern German city of Augsburg on Christmas Day so explosive experts could defuse a massive World War II unexploded RAF aerial bomb.

The bomb, weighing 1.8 tons, was discovered during construction work in the city’s historic central district on Dec. 20. City officials said Christmas Day was the best time to defuse it because there was less traffic and it was more likely that people could stay with relatives.

The munition was safely defused and city officials tweeted that they had “good news at Christmas” just before 7 p.m. local time, according to CNN.

During World War II, Allied air forces dropped 2.7 million tons of bombs on Europe, more than half of that amount on Germany alone.

In 2011, German city of Koblenz had to be evacuated as bomb experts defused a massive World War II bomb that emerged from the Rhine River due to low water levels. More than 20,000 people were evacuated from their homes in Dortmund in 2014 after the discovery of a 4,000-pound bomb.

It is estimated that as many as 10 percent of bombs dropped by Allied aircraft failed to explode.