Italy conducted its largest peacetime evacuation in history after workers discovered an unexploded bomb from World War II.
About 54,000 people of the 80,000 who live in the Italian city of Brindisi were evacuated at 8 a.m. on Sunday, according to CNN. The bomb was the first one discovered in the southern port city since 1945.
The bomb, dropped by British forces in 1941, measures more than three feet in length and weighs about 500 pounds. It was discovered by workers who were expanding a local cinema and was damaged during the operation, making it more dangerous than other bomb disposals.
At about 1 p.m. on Sunday, residents were allowed to return to their homes after the ordinance was successfully removed. There are plans to dispose of the bomb using a controlled explosion.
The Italian Army and Ministry of Defense posted photos to Twitter showing Sunday’s successful removal and diffusion of the weapon.
Anche a Ortucchio in provincia di L’Aquila i nostri #artificieri del 6º Reggimento Genio Pionieri hanno disinnescato una #bomba risalente al 2º Conflitto Mondiale #EsercitoItaliano #AlserviziodelPaese #dipiùinsieme #IosonounSoldato pic.twitter.com/eVpQGzmE6P
— Esercito Italiano (@Esercito) December 15, 2019
Defense Minister Lorenzo Guerini characterized the bomb’s disposal operation as “particularly complex.”
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