BERLIN -- Explosives experts in Germany have detonated the remains of a 550-pound World War II bomb in central Munich.

The dapd news agency cited a police spokesman as saying the bomb was successfully destroyed Tuesday evening. Still, burning debris caused fires in several nearby buildings that had been evacuated after the bomb was discovered Monday in the Schwabing district.

Efforts to defuse the bomb failed and experts decided to pack it with explosives and detonate it rather than risk an uncontrolled explosion.

Allied airplanes dropped millions of tons of ordnance on Germany during World War II in an effort to cripple the Nazi war machine. Tens of thousands of unexploded bombs are believed still to be lying in the ground in Germany.

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  • This combination photo taken from a video shows the controlled detonation of the remains of a 550-pound World War II bomb in central Munich, Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2012. Efforts to defuse the bomb failed and experts decided to pack it with explosives and detonate it rather than risk an uncontrolled explosion. (AP Photo/dapd, Simon Aschenbrenner)

  • Shattered glass in front of a shop near the site where explosives experts in Germany detonated the remains of a 550-pound World War II bomb in central Munich, Germany, early Wednesday morning, Aug. 29, 2012. (AP Photo/dapd, Lennart Preiss)

  • Firefighters stand at the site in central Munich, Germany, Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012, where explosives experts in Germany detonated the remains of a 550-pound World War II bomb late Tuesday. (AP Photo/dapd, Lennart Preiss)

  • Firefighters work at the site where explosives experts in Germany have detonated the remains of a 550-pound World War II bomb in central Munich, Germany, early Wednesday morning, Aug. 29, 2012. (AP Photo/dapd, Lennart Preiss)

  • Shattered glass in front of a shop near the site where explosives experts in Germany detonated the remains of a 550-pound World War II bomb in central Munich, Germany, early Wednesday morning, Aug. 29, 2012. (AP Photo/dapd, Lennart Preiss)

  • This Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2012 photo made available by the Munich fire brigade shows firefighters working at the site where explosives experts in Germany detonated the remains of a 550-pound World War II bomb in central Munich, Germany. (AP Photo/dapd, Berufsfeuerwehr Muenchen)