After a second world war-era British bomb was discovered in Italy's Brindisi city, more than 54,000 people were evacuated for several hours on Sunday. According to international media reports, the bomb was discovered last month on November 2 during refurbishment works that were taking place at a theatre. The bomb is believed to have been dropped on the city in 1941 by Allied forces. Reportedly, the operation was the biggest peacetime evacuation in Italy.
The authorities on Sunday asked the residents of the port city to evacuate within a radius of more than 5,000 ft from where the bomb was found. Brindisi airport, schools, two hospitals, and a prison were shut down during the risky operation. The bomb contained 40 kilograms of dynamite and was 1 metre long. About 1pm on Sunday, authorities confirmed that the bomb has been defused successfully. Authorities said that they will take the bomb to a remote place for a controlled explosion.
This is not the first time when a second world war era bomb has been discovered in Italy. On December 1, the residents of Turin were evacuated after an unexploded bomb was discovered in the city. Previously, on October 19, residents of Bolzano evacuated after another second world war British bomb was discovered near Piazza Verdi. Authorities successfully defused both the bombs.
During the second world war, the Allied air force dropped several thousand bombs on Italy and some of the unexploded bombs are still being discovered in the country. Reports suggest that more than 10 unexploded bombs are still hidden within the foundation of the archaeological site of Pompeii. Allied forces dropped at least 165 bombs on Pompeii in August 1943. According to a defence ministry report, thousands of bombs are defused in Italy every year.