Turin centre cleared to defuse WWII bomb

ROME (AFP) – More than 10,000 residents of central Turin had to be evacuated early yesterday while experts disarmed a 500-pound British bomb from World War II, local authorities said.

Residents living closest to the site were told to leave a “red zone” around Nizza Street in the city’s historic district while the experts tackled the bomb, dropped more than 70 years ago.

Another 50,000 in an outer perimeter were advised to either leave or stay indoors from 7am until 4pm.

But city officials were able to lift the alert at around 2pm after the bomb disposal team announced they had completed their work. The device had contained 65 kilos of dynamite, they said.

Turin Mayor Chiara Appendino was present at the site and planned to also visit those who had been evacuated to buildings at a fairground on the edge of the city.

Airspace above Turin was closed during the operation as was the Porta Nuova train station which is located along Nizza Street.

Army experts have moved the deactivated bomb to Cirie, about 13 kilometres northwest of Turin. There, it will be permanently destroyed in a disused quarry.