09:24 GMT24 February 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - A busy area in central Cologne was evacuated and transport restricted on Monday as a bomb squad prepares to defuse a WWII explosive device, the German city’s administration said.

    A 500 kilogram (1,100 pound) American bomb was found during construction work near a crucial railroad bridge on Monday evening, prompting warnings about an imminent evacuation.

    "Evacuation in Cologne’s Deutz is completed. All buildings have been vacated. Air, river and railway traffic have been stopped," the statement reads.

    Fifteen residents were asked to temporarily leave their homes. Nearby businesses, the RTL broadcaster and the Cologne opera were also evacuated.

    The Hohenzollern rail and pedestrian bridge has been blocked. The German state railway service said trains would pass the station in the Deutz borough without stopping.

    A woman who works nearby shared a photo of a special vehicle operating at the scene.

    ​The defusing operation was greenlit shortly after 11 a.m. local time (10:00 GMT) and was successfully completed at around midday, according to WDR television network.

    Tags:
    evacuation, bomb, Cologne, Germany
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