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Thousands led to safety as WWII bomb is defused

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Thousands led to safety as WWII bomb is defused


More than 20,000 people had to be evacuated from the centre of Caen in France as army ordnance experts defused a 500 kilo Second World War bomb.

Construction workers unearthed the American made device on a building site at Caen university.

All residents within an 800 metre radius were ordered to leave their homes so the delicate job of disarming the bomb could begin.

Not everyone was willing to comply. One dismayed elderly resident shouted from her apartment: “I am at my window waiting for my daughter to arrive from Breteville Sur Redon so that I can spend the day with her.”

In all emergency services cleared 7,000 households and about 1,000 student dwellings.

Buses were laid on to ferry people to safety just in case the bomb disposal operation went badly wrong.

Caen was heavily bombed by Allied forces in July 1944 during the Battle of Normandy, as British and Canadian troops fought to take the city from crack German troops following the D-Day landings.

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