Officials in the Adriatic town of Fano gave the all clear on Wednesday after a British-made bomb dating back to the Second World War was safely disposed of at sea.
Mayor Massimo Seri announced that the city was "out of danger," as he revoked evacuation orders and allowed local shops, public offices and the hospital to reopen. Schools remained closed, but the local train station, port and airport were back in service.
A statement from the town hall said army and navy experts had lifted the bomb and dropped it into the ocean in "a special and highly risky operation."
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The 225-kilogram (500-pound) weapon was accidentally dug up Tuesday during excavation work on the beachfront, prompting the city to evacuate around 23,000 people from Fano's historic center.
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According to the SkyTG24 news channel, the explosive had a delayed fuse that was accidentally set off during the building works, meaning that it could have exploded within 144 hours of its discovery.
Following the collapse of Benito Mussolini's Fascist regime in 1943, Italy was invaded and became the scene of fighting between advancing Allied forced and retreating Nazi troops. Even decades later, unexploded bombs are still discovered from time to time, usually on building sites and properties undergoing redevelopment.
nm/jm (AP, dpa, EFE)
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