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WWII bomb to cause Berlin travel chaos

Rail traffic is set to stop after construction workers find a 500kg next to the main station.

A huge bomb dating from the Second World War has been discovered close to Berlin’s busiest train station. It is set to be defused tomorrow, and rail and other services will be temporarily suspended.

Construction workers at a building site just to the north of Berlin Hauptbahnhof found the bomb, and an 800-metre area around the site will be evacuated by 09:00 on Friday, in time for the diffusion operation starting at 11:30.

Regional and long distance services to Berlin as well as S-Bahn and U-Bahn lines will all face disruption. The U55 between the Hauptbahnhof and Brandenburger Tor will not run at all during the operation. Buses will circumnavigate the area.

The evacuation zone also includes the embassies of Indonesia and Uzbekistan, the economy and transport ministries, Berlin’s Social Welfare Court, parts of a major Berlin hospital and thousands of local residents, AFP and Reuters report.

Big, difficult operation
“The operation will be big and it will be difficult,” a police spokesperson said, referring to the size of the bomb, which is likely of British origin.

As for air traffic, however, a spokesman for the city’s Tegel Airport says there is a “very high probability that there will be no restrictions in flight operations”.

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