Around 3,000 residents of Rennes city in France were evacuated from their houses on Sunday, 23 November, as a squad defused a World War II British bomb. The massive 250kg bomb was found near the city's town hall.
Construction workers had stumbled on the archaic bomb, while building a new subway line in the capital of the Brittany region of West France, RFI reported.
The British Bomb was packed with 70kg explosives and the bomb disposal experts had to ensure a very "delicate operation" to disarm it, Mayor Natholie Appere told RT.
People from all buildings – residential and corporate – situated in 270m radius, including a fire station and a home for the elderly, were evacuated for the diffusion of the bomb.
"It took two hours to defuse the bomb and it was quite difficult because it was old and it was not in really good shape," sub-prefect Frédérique Camilleri explained.
Rennes, a major railway junction, was the target of several raids by Britain's RAF during the war, including a major attack in 1944. Although it is not an uncommon occurrence in France to unearth bombs from World War II, this particular discovery caused major inconvenience as it was found in a heavily populated area.
"The last operation of this kind in Rennes was in 2010 and we had to evacuate 10,000 people, so we are quite used to it, but it's still a very big event each time," Camilleri added.
La fameuse bombe anglaise larguée le 9 juin 1944, découverte place Saint Germain à Rennes, qui contenait 75kg de TNT pic.twitter.com/KKRMEPXGl7
— Laurent Riéra (@LaurentRiera) November 23, 2014