Over 4,000 people affected by World War II bomb found in Essen

A World War II bomb found during construction work will be defused on Monday, affecting residents in the area surrounding it.

Over 4,000 people affected by World War II bomb found in Essen
A police vehicle in Essen. Photo: DPA

For language learners: we've highlighted some useful vocabulary in this news story. You'll find the German translations at the bottom of the article.

Roads have also been closed off. The highway A52 was closed at the ‘Essen-Ost’ junction around 11 a.m. as work began to defuse an unexploded ordnance found on Wednesday in Essen during construction work.

The American unexploded bomb was found near the Alfried-Krupp Hospital, reported RP Online.

A partial evacuation of the hospital occurred Monday afternoon in order to defuse the bomb, the city of Essen of North Rhine-Westphalia announced.

According to the city, 908 people in the inner circle – where the hospital is located – and 3,355 people in the outer circle were affected. Patients were transferred to other areas of the building.

Within a radius of 250 to 500 metres of defusing work, residents in the area were told they must stay in parts of the building facing away from the site, or in a cellar, while the bomb is disabled.

In this area, the Office of Public Order also advised that cars are removed from the road as a precautionary measure.

The city was set to announce more precise details about the restricted areas, and the time of the defusing measures, during the course of the day.

It is common for construction work in Germany to yield finds of World War II bombs, as it has recently in Frankfurt and Cologne.

Normally the diffusing of such bombs is done safely and quietly, although last Friday a bomb found in Lower Saxony shattered windows as it was defused. No one was injured in the blast.

SEE ALSO: WWII bomb detonated in Lower Saxony, shattering windows


Closed (or blocked) – gesperrt

To defuse – entschärften

Unexploded bomb – Blindgänger

Inner circle – Inneren Kreis

Hospital – Krankenhaus

Residents – Anwohner

More precise details – genauere Details

in the course of the day – im Laufe des Tages

We're aiming to help our readers improve their German by translating relevant vocabulary from our news stories of the day. Did you find articles like these useful? Do you have any suggestions? Let us know.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


WWII bomb found in Frankfurt safely detonated after mass evacuation

A massive World War II bomb found in Germany's financial capital Frankfurt was safely detonated in the early hours of Thursday, the city's fire service said, allowing tens of thousands of evacuated residents to return to their homes.

WWII bomb found in Frankfurt safely detonated after mass evacuation
Experts stand on mountains of sand, which were put in place to soften the force of the explosion of the WWII bomb in Frankfurt's Nordend. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Frank Rumpenhorst

The 500-kilogram unexploded bomb was unearthed during construction work on Wednesday in the densely populated Nordend area of the city, a location firefighters said made it a “particular challenge” to remove.

The Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper reported the ordnance had been discovered right next to a children’s playground at a depth of about two metres (6.5 feet).

READ ALSO: What you need to know about WWII bomb disposals in Germany

Its report said the controlled blast, which happened just after midnight, “sounded like thunder rumbling” and left a hole three metres deep and ten metres wide.

Firefighters said that they had covered the bomb with 40 truckloads of sand before detonating it, in order to minimise damage to the surrounding buildings.

Around 25,000 people had been asked to evacuate the area, including the occupants of a nearby community hospital’s neonatal ward.

Among residents who took shelter at a skating rink was 29-year-old Tobias, carrying his pet cat in a cage.

He said he had heard the news over a police loudspeaker and been ordered to leave his home immediately, causing a “bit of stress”.

Barbara, 77, told AFP the news was “a bit of a shock, we don’t expect that”.

However, building works in Germany regularly unearth unexploded World War II ordnance, 76 years after the conflict’s end.

Seven bombs were defused in 2020 on land near Berlin where Tesla plans to build its first factory in Europe for electric cars.  

READ ALSO: WWII bomb in Frankfurt triggers 30m high water fountain

Other bombs were also discovered last year in Frankfurt, Cologne, and Dortmund.

In Frankfurt, the discovery of a 1.4-tonne bomb in 2017 led to the removal of 65,000 people, the biggest such evacuation in Europe since 1945.