Unexploded World War II Bomb Found in German City

Some 9,700 people evacuated from Potsdam after 250-kilo bomb found near main railway station. Bomb defused in 'very challenging' operation, mayor says.

The main train station is cordoned off after unexploded 250-kilogram World War II bomb found
The main train station is cordoned off after unexploded 250-kilogram World War II bomb was discovered in Potsdam near Berlin on December 18, 2014. AFP

A World War II bomb has been successfully defused in an eastern German city after some 9,700 people were evacuated from the surrounding area and a meeting of a state legislature was interrupted.

The 250-kilo (551-pound) bomb was found during construction work Thursday morning near the main railway station in Potsdam, near Berlin. The site is close to the city's downtown area and the Brandenburg state legislature.

The city government said the bomb was defused early Thursday evening in an operation that lasted 47 minutes and which Mayor Jann Jakobs described as "very challenging."

Allied airplanes dropped millions of tons of ordnance on Germany during World War II, and unexploded bombs are still found frequently.