Thousands evacuated in Italy's South Tyrol for WWII-era bomb disposal
October 20 2019 02:28 PM
diffused World War II-era bomb.
The diffused World War II-era bomb. Picture courtesy: Rai Tagesschau


Nearly 4,000 people were evacuated and one of Europe's busiest motorways was closed for a few hours as a World War II-era bomb was defused Sunday in Italy's South Tyrol province.
Bomb disposal experts worked on a 225-kilogram explosive found on October 9 in Bolzano/Bozen, South Tyrol's capital, during roadworks in the central Piazza Verdi.
Starting from 6.30 am (0430 GMT), people living within a 500-metre radius of the bomb site were evacuated.
Local authorities said 3,929 people were affected.
here were also more than 61,000 people living slightly further away from the Piazza Verdi site who were ordered not to leave their homes during bomb disposal operations.
 At around 11.45 am, civil protection authorities said the bomb had been successfully defused and that life could go back to normal. Operations lasted about two hours.
Local authorities had ordered the suspension of local bus services and of rail traffic passing through the city, as well as the closure of the Brenner motorway leading to the Austrian border.
 The operator of the motorway - a key road from Italy to northern Europe - said the closure caused traffic jams of 2 kilometres north of Bolzano/Bozen and of 4 kilometres south of it.
South Tyrol is a majority German-speaking province, but its institutions have a bilingual Italian-German appellation, including its capital Bolzano/Bozen.

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