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04 October 2023

Thousands evacuated over WWII bomb in France


Police evacuated 6,000 people from a French town on Sunday in order to destroy an unexploded bomb dropped by an allied plane in World War II, authorities said.

Thousands of residents, some carrying suitcases and pets, flocked out of their homes and into the streets at dawn as authorities cleared the neighbourhood to deal with the bomb found last week, an AFP reporter saw.

The bomb -- weighing half a tonne, of which half was explosives -- was found on a building site on the grounds of the old Renault car factory in Boulogne-Billancourt, just west of Paris.

The allies bombed the factory, which at the time was producing cars and under Nazi control, several times in 1942 and 1943.

"As it is, the device is inactive and poses no immediate danger, but the authorities must dismantle it in the safest possible conditions," said a statement from the local town hall.
The police said 400 officers and staff were involved in the operation.