Four people have been injured after a 550lb World War Two bomb exploded near a Munich train station 76 years after the end of the conflict.
The device detonated sending debris hundreds of yards after workmen drilled through it at a construction site near the Bavarian city’s main train station.
A huge cloud of smoke was seen rising from the site following the blast which was heard miles away.
One of the victims is in a serious but non life-threatening condition.
It is not known if the bomb was dropped by British or US forces but there are believed to be thousand of unexploded devices still in Germany, with many in Munich after it was targeted with 74 air raids during the war.
Four people have been injured after a 550lb World War Two bomb exploded near a Munich train station (pictured: smoke billows into the air after the blast)
The bomb site is located at Donnersbergerbruecke on the approach to Munich’s central station, one of Germany’s busiest, which is half a mile away
Fire engines and around 50 emergency service members were at the scene while a police helicopter circled above the station
Police have cordoned off the area and say there is no wider danger to the public.
Fire engines and around 50 emergency service members were at the scene while a police helicopter circled above the station.
Donnersbergerbruecke is on the main route of the Munich S-Bahn and the construction site is part of the city’s Second Mainline project to build another line through the city centre.
The bomb site is located on the approach to Munich’s central station, one of Germany’s busiest, which is half a mile away.
Firefighters walk along the tracks of the S-Bahn with railway staff after the bomb injured four people
The boom was heard several miles away while debris was fired hundreds of yards away, and one victim is said to be in a serious but non life-threatening condition
Rail travel to and from the main train station has been suspended, according to rail operator Deutsche Bahn. It was not clear when the rail traffic could resume.
Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann said: ‘During drilling, an aerial bomb weighing 250 kilograms from the Second World War was hit. Debris flew hundreds of meters. The whole area is currently being searched.’
Police also confirmed the explosion was caused by a previously unexploded aerial bomb.
It wasn’t immediately clear why it wasn’t discovered earlier; in general, sites in central Munich are scanned carefully for possible unexploded bombs.
Munich was attacked by RAF Bomber Command and the USAAF over 74 air raids which killed 6,632 people and left 15,800 wounded.
Munich was considered a symbolic target for the Allies because it was the birthplace of the Nazi party and was also easy to reach by air, with 90 per cent of the old town was destroyed in the campaign.
Brutal WWII bombing campaigns in Britain and Germany
2.8million tons Weight of all U.S. and British bombs dropped on Germany (54% USAAF)
75,000 tons Weight of Luftwaffe bombs dropped on Britain
543,000 Germans lost their lives in WWII air raids
60,000 Britons killed by German bombs
390,000 Sorties flown by RAF bombers
2,500 unexploded bombs yet to be found in Munich, according to experts
5% The proportion of bombs that failed to detonate
Police spokesman Peter Werthmann said: ‘At this time there is no evidence of criminal offenses. According to initial findings, we have three injured people, the danger area is largely cordoned off and train traffic is blocked on the main route.’
In 2012, a similar 550lb wartime bomb was detonated 70 years after it dropped on Munich.
A huge fireball was seen over the city skyline after the controlled demolition of the bomb which had lain beneath the site of a former nightclub until a digger unearthed it.
It was found under the former Schwabinger 7 nightclub, a hangout of the Rolling Stones in the 1970s.
Thousands of residents had to be evacuated from their homes after experts set it off because its chemical detonator made it impossible to move.
Despite the precautions, two nearby houses caught fire, shrapnel smashed into a bridge and windows were shattered for hundreds of yards around.
It was not known whether the powerful explosive was dropped from British Lancaster bombers or American B-17 Super Fortresses – both of which bombed Munich over 71 missions throughout the war.
More than 2,000 tons of live bombs and munitions are discovered each year in Germany, more than 70 years after the end of World War Two.
British and American warplanes pummelled the country with 1.5 million tons of bombs that killed 600,000 people.
Officials estimate that 15 per cent of the bombs failed to explode, some burrowing 20ft deep.
The Allies dropped a total of 2.8million tons of bombs during WWII, massively eclipsing the 75,000 tons unleashed by the Luftwaffe on Britain.
By the war’s end, the USAAF had dropped 1.5million tons of bombs on the country and the RAF 1.3million tons. British bombers alone flew a total of 390,000 sorties
As a result, few towns escaped extensive damage from air raids and, by 1945, 543,000 civilians had been killed by the allied assault, compared with 60,000 in Britain.
The worst air raid occurred in Dresden when, over two days, at least 30,000 civilians were killed in attacks by the RAF and the USAAF.