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December 15, 2019 12:26 pm

Italian City Evacuates 54,000 People to Defuse World War II Bomb

avatar by Reuters and Algemeiner Staff

The Roman pillar marking the end of the ancient Via Appia in Brindisi, Italy. Photo: public domain.

Around 54,000 people were evacuated from the southern Italian city of Brindisi on Sunday as experts worked to defuse a World War II bomb, authorities said.

The Corriere della Sera daily said the operation was the biggest peacetime evacuation in Italy, with more than 60% of the city’s residents forced to vacate a “red zone” in a radius of 1,617 meters from where the bomb was found.

The British bomb, believed to have been dropped on the city in 1941, is one meter long and contains 40 kgs of dynamite, authorities said. It was found by chance last month during refurbishment works at a cinema theater.

The city’s airport, train station, two hospitals and a prison were shut down and evacuated as part of the operation, which authorities expect to be completed around lunchtime.

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