Thousands evacuated as huge Second World War bomb is defused in Frankfurt

Thousands of people were evacuated after a huge Second World War bomb was found in the German city of Frankfurt.

Around 16,500 residents were ordered to leave their homes in the Ostend district on Sunday before work began to defuse the 500kg American explosive device.

They were able to return home last night.

The city's fire service tweeted:"We did it! The World War II bomb in the Ostend neighbourhood has been defused by the ordnance disposal team. Roadblocks and evacuation zones have been lifted."

The bomb was found during construction work last month but the authorities were content to wait to make it safe in order to minimise disruption in the city, which is Germany's financial capital and the headquarters of the European Central Bank.

Unexploded Second World War bombs are often found in Germany and defusing them frequently requires thousands of people to be evacuated from their homes.