WWII bomb forces 10,000 to evacuate Italian city

More than 10,000 people were forced to evacuate the northwestern Italian city of Turin on Sunday as bomb experts worked to defuse a 70-year-old World War II bomb.

Residents in the central part of the Italian city were told to evacuate a "red zone" in the city's historic district, while another 50,000 in an outer perimeter were advised to leave their homes in advance or remain inside during the operation.

The 500-pound bomb, which contained 140 pounds of dynamite, was dropped by British forces on the city 70 years ago, authorities said, according to The Local.

Torino (Turin, Italy): cityscape at sunrise with details of the Mole Antonelliana towering over the city. Scenic colorful light on the snowcapped Alps in the background.

Torino (Turin, Italy): cityscape at sunrise with details of the Mole Antonelliana towering over the city. Scenic colorful light on the snowcapped Alps in the background.

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Turin Mayor Chiara Appendino was at the site and planned to visit residents who had been evacuated to buildings at a fairground near the edge of the city.

She added that a detonator at the tail end of the device required deactivating and was the reason for the operation, according to the BBC.

On Sunday afternoon, local media reported the operation to decommission the bomb was completed faster than expected and residents within the two impacted zones were allowed to go back home.

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Soldiers had been deployed in the area to combat theft and looting, according to La Stampa, while airspace above the city was closed during the operation along with the Porta Nuova train station.

An estimated 378,900 tons of bombs were dropped on Italy during World War I and World War II, according to a July 2018 report by the National Council of Engineers.

"Based on this data, we estimate that some 15,000 tonnes of unexploded devices are still on our territory," the report said.

In April, 4,500 people in Regensburg were forced to evacuate during a controlled explosion of a 550-pound World War II bomb that was found in the south German city, according to the BBC.

In 2017, Frankfurt evacuated 70,000 people after a 1.4-ton British "blockbuster" bomb was uncovered.

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Turin, which has a population of roughly 875,000, is an important business and cultural center in northern Italy and was the first Italian capital from 1861-1865.