Cologne An ICE railway station, a part of the city administration and even the RTL German Television network - all had to be evacuated on Monday due to the discovery of a World War II bomb.
A part of the Cologne inner city was paralyzed on Monday after an aerial bomb from World War II was found and bomb disposal experts called in to defuse it. Network headquarters of German television RTL had to be evacuated along with several thousand office workers in Cologne-Deutz and around 1,100 persons who have apartments in the vicinity. Deutsche Bahn (German Rail) had to close its route over the Hohenzollern Bridge for 35 minutes, causing delays and cancellations. Air space over Deutz was also blocked.
The American World War II bomb was found this morning on a building site between the Deutz station and the south entrance to the Cologne exhibition grounds. A new insurance building is being constructed there. The bomb disposal unit for the Dusseldorf area ordered an evacuation radius of 500 metres. The area is home to many companies and administration offices.
Around 2,000 employees of RTL Television were affected. “Everybody was calm and quiet as they left the building,” said RTL spokesperson Konstantin von Stechow. Programming was not affected because a recorded program was being shown at 2 pm. Around 800 employees of the chemical firm Lanxess were also evacuated. 15 people who reside in apartments in the area needed help to evacuate.
The city reported that the bomb had been deactivated at around 3:30 pm. In the past year, another World War II bomb had been found not too far away. In 2015, yet another bomb had to be deactivated and around 20,000 persons were evacuated. (Orig. text: dpa)