German city evacuated over WWII-era bomb

Sandbags frame a 1.8-ton World War II-era bomb in the Rhine near Koblenz Saturday, Dec. 3, 2011. Officials in this western German city say some 45,000 residents have to be evacuated while experts attempt to defuse the device.
AP Photo/dapd/Harald Tittel

BERLIN - Officials in Germany's western city of Koblenz say some 45,000 residents have to be evacuated as officials try to defuse a World War II-era bomb discovered in the Rhine river.

City officials said Saturday the massive British 1.8-ton bomb will be defused early Sunday, requiring all residents within a radius of about 1.2 miles from the bomb site to leave their homes for the day.

Officials say seven nursing homes, two hospitals and a prison are also being evacuated.

Train and road traffic in the area, some 80 miles northwest of Frankfurt, will come to a halt.

The British bomb was found last week alongside a 275-pound bomb dropped there by U.S. forces during WWII, after Rhine's water level fell due to lack of rain.