Residents of the German city of Magdeburg were forced to evacuate their homes Thursday after a World War II bomb was uncovered at a building site in Damaschkeplatz Square the night before.
Police knocked on doors and urged people in the vicinity of the explosive device to leave their residences as a safety precaution, according to local media. A bomb disposal team plans to defuse the 500-pound WWII bomb Thursday night.
Initial reports estimated that 10,000 residents would be asked to vacate the area. However, German magazine Focus reports the number of people disrupted by the evacuation is closer to 17,000. A local hospital was also evacuated, and transportation services in the area were disrupted Thursday.
National Geographic reports that more than 2.7 million tons of bombs were released over the country by British, American and Russian militaries during the war.
Live explosives are often found during construction projects and either diffused or safety detonated away from the public. Earlier this year, authorities cleared the area near a train station in Berlin in order to defuse a 220-pound WWII bomb.
Tens of thousands of explosive devices dating back to WWII may still be buried throughout Germany.