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World War II bomb at Ostkreuz: 12,000 people to be evacuated

  • Bombe am Ostkreuz (1)

    Police officers stand at the entrance to the construction site in Friedrichshain where a 500-kilogram bomb from World War II was found.

  • Bombe am Ostkreuz (2)

    A bomb is seen on a construction site not far from Ostkreuz.

A 500-kilogram World War II bomb was discovered during construction work in Friedrichshain on Thursday.

Up to 12,000 people within the restricted area

Security measures were underway in the afternoon - it initially remained unclear when exactly the 500-kilo bomb could be defused. "There could be up to 12,000 people in the area of the exclusion zone, and it will still take time," a police spokeswoman said late in the afternoon.

District office sets up crisis hotline

As the Friedrichshain district office announced on Twitter, a crisis hotline has been set up for those affected by the evacuation. It can be reached at the number +49 1715587600.

Emergency shelter in the Mercedes-Benz Arena

According to the spokesperson, the police were on the road with two loudspeaker vans on Thursday afternoon. 250 police officers took care of the street closures and went from door to door. People were asked on Twitter to leave the area on their own. An emergency shelter was set up at the Mercedes-Benz Arena with a separate room for people who tested positive for the coronavirus, according to reports.

Three day-care centres evacuated

Three day-care centres and a school are located in the 500-metre exclusion zone. Berlin is still on summer holiday. The day-care centres have already been evacuated, it was reported. Several people were restricted in their movements and had to be transported out.

Dud with two detonators

The World War II bomb had been discovered around 11.45 a.m. at the corner of Persiusstraße and Bödikerstraße, roughly between Spree and Ostkreuz station. According to police, there are two detonators on the unexploded bomb, which will be removed on site using a cutting device with high-pressure water and then detonated. The police published photos of the bomb on Twitter.

Bomb to be defused in Grunewald

After the defusing, which according to the police is still planned for Thursday, the bomb is to be taken to the explosion site in Grunewald. A fortnight ago, a fire broke out at the explosion site and numerous explosions were heard. Because of the dangers, the site could not be entered, so it took a long time to extinguish the fire.

Road closures and traffic restrictions

In addition to the Elsenbrücke and Stralauer Allee, part of the Spree and the Ostkreuz railway station are in the area. Therefore, in addition to S-Bahn traffic, boat traffic is also to be suspended as soon as the bomb is defused. S-Bahn and regional trains temporarily stopped at Ostkreuz station in the afternoon, and the station was to be evacuated. The Federal Police and S-Bahn wrote on Twitter that trains would initially stop again at Ostkreuz "until the actual evacuation begins".

Author: dpa/BerlinOnline/
Publication date: 18 August 2022
Last updated: 19 August 2022

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