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A German City Was Evacuated To Defuse A Massive World War II Bomb On Christmas

The aerial bomb, which was dropped by the British during World War II, was found last week during construction work.

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More than 54,000 residents were evacuated from Augsburg, Germany, on Christmas in order to defuse a 1.8 ton bomb from World War II.

Stefan Puchner / AFP / Getty Images

The aerial bomb, which the city said the British dropped during World War II, was found last week during construction work, CNN reported.

Police said the bomb did not present an immediate danger. They waited until Christmas Day to defuse it because there would be less traffic than usual, and thought many people might be able to stay with their relatives.

Residents were instructed to evacuate the area by 10 a.m. on the morning of Dec. 25 for nearby emergency shelters, with little information on when they would be able to return, ABC reported.

The city announced the bomb's successful disarming, and the end of the evacuation, around 7 p.m. local time the same day.

Facebook: augsburgbuergerinfo

This isn't the first time an unexploded bomb has been found years after World War II — quite a few have been discovered in recent years, including in the UK, France, Japan, and many more in Germany.

The town's mayor Kurt Gribl thanked the crew who worked to dismantle the bomb on Twitter:

#Fliegerbombe entschärft - diese mutigen Männer sind die wahren Helden dieses geschichtsträchtigen Tages. Von Herze… https://t.co/2XXzWl5qR0

"Aerial bomb disarmed. These brave men are the true heroes of this historic day. From the heart: Thank you," he said.

Julia Reinstein is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Julia Reinstein at julia.reinstein@buzzfeed.com.

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