Three injured after ‘World War II bomb’ explosion near Munich train station
Four people have been injured after a 550-pound World War II bomb exploded near a train station in Munich, 76 years after the conflict ended.
The explosion happened during construction work near Donnersbergerbruecke station and the trains have been shut down.
The bang was heard several miles away as debris was fired hundreds of yards away, and one victim is said to be in a serious but non-life-threatening condition.
Four people have been injured after a 550-pound World War II bomb exploded near a train station in Munich (Photo: Clouds of smoke in the sky after the blast)
Police have cordoned off the area and said there is no greater danger to the population.
Fire trucks and about 50 emergency services were on the scene as a police helicopter circled over the station.
Donnersbergerbruecke is on the main route of the Munich S-Bahn, and the construction site is part of the city’s Second Mainline project to build a new line through the city center.
The bomb site is located on the approach to Munich Central Station, one of the busiest in Germany, 800 meters away.
Train traffic to and from the central station has been suspended, according to rail operator Deutsche Bahn. It is not clear when train traffic can resume.
Fire trucks and about 50 emergency services were on the scene as a police helicopter circled over the station
Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann said: “During the drilling process, a 250 kilogram WWII aerial bomb was hit. Debris flew hundreds of meters. The entire area is currently being searched.’
Police also confirmed that the explosion was caused by a previously unexploded aerial bomb.
It was not immediately clear why it had not been discovered earlier; in general, locations in central Munich are carefully scanned for possible unexploded bombs.
Brutal WWII Bombing in Britain and Germany
2.8 million tons Weight of all US and British bombs dropped on Germany (54% USAAF)
75,000 tons Weight of the Luftwaffe bombs dropped on Britain
543,000 Germans lost their lives in WWII air raids
60,000 British killed by German bombs
390,000 Sorties flown by RAF bombers
2500 according to experts, unexploded bombs found in Munich
5% The proportion of bombs that failed to explode
Police spokesman Peter Werthmann: ‘There are currently no indications of criminal offences. According to the initial findings, we have three injured, the danger zone has been largely cordoned off and train traffic on the main route has been blocked.’
In 2012, a similar 550-pound war bomb was detonated, 70 years after it fell on Munich.
A huge fireball was seen over the city skyline after the controlled demolition of the bomb that had lain beneath the site of a former nightclub until an excavator dug it up.
It was found under the former Schwabinger 7 nightclub, a meeting place of the Rolling Stones in the 1970s.
Thousands of residents had to be evacuated of their houses after experts set it off because the chemical detonator made it impossible to move.
Despite precautions, two nearby houses caught fire, shrapnel smashed into a bridge and windows were shattered hundreds of meters in circumference.
It was unknown whether the high-powered explosive was dropped by British Lancaster bombers or American B-17 Super Fortresses – both of which bombed Munich on 71 missions during the war.
More than 70 years after the end of World War II, more than 2,000 tons of live bombs and ammunition are discovered in Germany every year.
British and American warplanes bombarded the country with 1.5 million tons of bombs, killing 600,000 people.
Officials estimate that 15 percent of the bombs did not explode, some as deep as 20 feet.
The Allies dropped a total of 2.8 million tons of bombs during World War II, vastly eclipsing the 75,000 tons unleashed on Britain by the Luftwaffe.
By the end of the war, the USAAF had dropped 1.5 million tons of bombs on land and the RAF had dropped 1.3 million tons. British bombers alone flew a total of 390,000 flights
As a result, few towns escaped major damage from air raids and in 1945 543,000 civilians had been killed by the Allied attack, compared to 60,000 in Britain.
The worst air raid took place in Dresden when at least 30,000 civilians were killed in two days in attacks by the RAF and USAAF.