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The southern German city of Augsburg was evacuated on Christmas Day because a bomb, a relic from the days of the second world war, was found during construction work. People from around a 1.5 km radius were evacuated (32,000 households, 54,000 people) so that their safety could be ensured. Now while this may have been the most responsible thing to do in the situation, it was Christmas. It was a darn shame that people would have to miss out on the festivities due to the past coming back to haunt them, quite literally.
The bomb was a 1.8 tonne monster that had to be defused quickly. Relics of the second world war are still haunting the people of Europe. Landmines laid out in areas of Africa and Europe were never completely cleared and result in deaths till this day. Just last year in August, a 250 kilogram bomb was discovered in East London and a similar evacuation was held before defusing it.
The evacuation was swift. People were told to be out of their homes by 10 a.m. and evacuation centers were set up in gymnasiums and local schools. By 7 p.m. however, the bomb had been defused. The announcement was made via the official Facebook page of the city of Augsburg. Mayor Kurt Gribl personally thanked the workers who gave up their Christmas to defuse the bomb. He ventured in to the pit and where the bomb was sitting to do this.
— Kurt Gribl (@politikurt) December 25, 2016
The bomb turned out to be British made, dropped in to the city during World War II.
Germany celebrates Christmas festivities on Christmas Eve instead of Christmas Day unlike other western countries. Authorities had previously decided to hold off defusing the bomb until Christmas Day because there was no immediate danger from the bomb but the German people’s joy was placed before the convenience of the officials.
Also Read: 23 Science Facts We Discovered in 2016.